Special thanks to Ajas, who commissioned a very special project; our first commissioned Live Watch! If you don’t know, a Live Watch is where we watch a show and record commentary for it, which you can sync up to watch with us at home with your own personal copy. And this movie is one of the craziest, over the top action films of all time. A John Woo picture, starring Chow Yun-fat, it features a hard-boiled detective desperate to put an end to the violent gang of gun runners who murdered his partner. Boasting an improbably number of bird and bullets, and featuring stunts that are just slightly less lethal than filming actual gunplay, the plot makes no sense but the gonzo nature of the film more than makes up for it. You thought Jason Statham’s baby routine in Fate of the Furious was crazy? You haven’t seen nothing!
We have seen Deadpool 2! If you saw Deadpool, and liked it, well, here is more of it. It is arguably even better, or at any rate, just as good. We loved Deadpool, and had an even better time with 2. There are more jokes, more over the top action, better cameos, and truly shocking and original things put on screen that you’re just not going to see in other franchises, all done in a very brisk, slick, and above all else, entertaining fashion. The trailer does not ruin this film, there are plenty of fresh jokes and action you’ve never seen. If you didn’t like Deadpool, nothing here is going to change your mind.
It took ten years of careful buildup to make the massive undertaking that is Avengers: Infinity War possible, but was all the effort worth it? Hell, yes. This is hands down the most epic comic book film ever made, and it is full to bursting with Marvel Studios hallmarks; funny interactions within the heroes, inventive and imaginative fight scenes, jaw-dropping, awesome world and universe building, and genuine character beats. The final act contains some effective gut punches that Jim and I are both more than a little skeptical of, but in the moment really work well, and can only really be judged after we see what comes next. At this point, I’m not willing to bet against Marvel.
Jim and I went to see the new horror/suspense film, A Quiet Place, directed by and starring John Krasinski, who is joined by his co-star Emily Blunt. Both are extremely effective at wringing genuine fear and emotion from the audience as they interact with a cast of really talented young actors. There are problems we have with the film, some of them big ones, but the bottom line is the movie offers a very unique theater experience, it’s extremely tense and scary, and the parts that have to work really work well.
Max commissioned one of his beloved films from high school (shout out to the Class of ’95!), Hackers. Directed by Iain Softley and starring Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie, Hackers is a mostly ridiculous look into mid-90s hacker culture that’s core plot is a rehash of Office Space, which is to say it’s a rehash of Superman III. We discuss the film as contemporary computer nerds and as grown men looking back at the naivety of early hacker culture and the weird prescience the move shows.
We saw Steven Spielberg’s 80’s nostalgic fun fest, Ready Player One, and we were surprised that it managed to be a good film. We’d heard nothing but shaky things leading up to it, but with our appropriately set expectations, we had a lot of fun with it. It’s not perfect, the ending in particular is a bit of a mess, but it works if you want it to work, and if you’re in this movie’s target demo, you’re going to want it to work. Since we’re both pretty much at ground zero of that target, we can’t say how well it would hold up if you’re safely outside the film’s nostalgia blast wave.
Today’s commission is courtesy the kind support of Sean Ray, a five time commissioner! He selected It Follows, an extremely clever and inventive horror flick written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. It has big ideas, and while it struggles to live up to them in places, the concept and performance of the plucky cast of likable yet relatively obscure young actors really makes the film shine. It’s fun to watch, it’s fun to think about, and it’s fun to talk about. How would you survive being hunted by “It”? That and a few beers is a topic that can easily kill a whole evening of hanging with your friends.
Jim and I saw a movie about giant robots punching even bigger monsters, and it was even dumber than we thought it would be. Jim and I have no small amount of affection for the first Pacific Rim. But hoo-boy, Pacific Rim: Uprising might up the robot on monster punching action slightly, but removes all of the spunk and charm of the original to give us a loud, boring, and thoroughly by the numbers action movie. My 11 year old loved it, though, so if you have one of those around, or are one of those in heart and mind, by all means, don’t let us stop you from seeing Pacific Rim 2. Everybody else should steer well clear.
Special thanks to our buddy Jason Shankel hailing from the Nattercast for commissioning this podcast for the 1986 sci-fi action fantasy film Highlander, directed by Russell Mulcahy and starring Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert. Jason and his friends also did a deep dive on Highlander, so please check that out if you’re looking for a very affectionate and informed take from life-long fans of the franchise. As for us, we thought Highlander was cheesy fun. The film boasts an excellent soundtrack, exciting and varied sets for the extended sword fights, and some of the sturdiest and most interesting fantasy bones to hang a franchise on. We walk away wondering why hasn’t anyone rebooted this?
Tonight we were supposed to see A Wrinkle in Time, but we were upstaged by A Wrinkle in Ticket Pre-sales, so we called an audible and saw the movie we were supposed to see last week, Red Sparrow. Starring Jennifer Lawrence as a Russian ballerina turned deadly secret agent, and Joel Edgerton as just a dumb*ss American spy it manages to be lurid without being interesting. We’ll tell you what we thought about the movie up front, then talk about upcoming movies and trailers for a bit, but if you want our full spoiler-filled take you’ll have to be a Club Member!