Dog Day Afternoon (1975) might be the best non-heist movie of all time

by Banned Library in

A group of criminals with a plan find themselves in problem solving mode when everything goes wrong. That's the definition of most heist movies. The leads are charismatic, the side characters are quirky, and the plot often leads with a slow clap. That's how they did it, you say, and walk from the theater thinking if only you could be that cool. Dog Day Afternoon is what would happen if you actually did try a heist.

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Muppets Most Wanted (2014) goes on a trip and doesn't really go anywhere

by Banned Library in

When the Muppets came back with the big movie that won music awards and had Amy Adams in it, I had a hell of a lot of hope. They were my touchstone from childhood that over the years kinda became that thing I used to like. When Jason Segel and the crew came back, they filled it with heart and joy that I remembered from before Henson left us. Then those creative people left and we got the corporate mandated Muppets Most Wanted.

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Game Night (2018) made me laugh stupid hard and sometimes that's all you need

by Banned Library in

People don't have exciting lives. Not most people. They gather, they laugh, they eat, they make little babies to gather, laugh and eat. We tell stories of extraordinary people to feel extraordinary and compete with each other in games so we can get the rush of living. Game Night is about those ordinary people getting to feel extraordinary over one crazy ass night with a postmodern nonsense senseibility.

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Bad Lieutenant (1992) will make all those other crime movie "crazy" cops seem like poseurs

by Banned Library in

How many movies are there about good police officers? Just regular people that just so happen to get involved in a story. I can think of just one: Only the Lonely starring John Candy that's a romantic comedy wherein Candy happens to be a Chicago police officer, a regular beat cop. Every other movie is about a crazy cop that doesn't play by the rules. Bad Lieutenant is the concentrate version of that police officer.

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19. Rope (1948) Movie Review: Smug Assholes, it turns out, are universal

by Banned Library in

What does the perfect murder look like? The victim deserves it, the murderer is just, and no one gets caught. Turns out if you've got enough education you can justify any of those points.

    Brandon (Dall) and Philip (Granger) have strangled their friend David to death. Believing themselves to be above reproach of the law and David's friends and family, the two then throw a party with David's body stuffed in a chest they use as a buffet table. As the party goes on, their old schoolmaster Rupert (Stewart) becomes suspicious.

    I won't say everything everyone else says about this movie. Alfred Hitchcock's grand experiment in long shots, the film composed of ten long shots with a few edits, Rope is a novelty of a movie. I won't mention how the homosexual undertones inform on the rather problematic motives of the upper crust privilege. I won't even say how the plot was based on a stage play and was based on the real life Leopold and Loeb murder. Not going to say any of that.

    Not Jimmy Stewart's favorite of his work with Hitchcock, the movie holds up as both a cultural artifact and a damn good movie. It's a masterclass in blocking and small space acting. You have no choice but to rent this or do what I did and get if from the library.

13. Masterminds (2016) Movie Review: It'll steal you time because it's kind of a waste

by Banned Library in

When people sit down to make movies, they don't say "Let's stink up the joint." It doesn't matter if they don't say it, though, because more often than that they crap the toaster. Masterminds aims for middling humor and falls short.

    The plan was simple: dumbass David Ghantt (Galifianakis) is to use his armoured car job to hijack millions of dollars. Then he runs to Mexico and hides out. Soon his lady love (Wiig) follows, and they live the big life after the man with the plan (Wilson) sends them their cut of the cash. Then it all goes to hell.

    When the Berlin school began developing Gestalt theories of psychology, they did not reckon on so many right pieces creating such a wrong whole. The acting is solid with Galifianakis and Wiig pulling off convincing dumbass yet lovestruck roles. Even Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis come off as menacing evil doers. The plot meanders but is pretty straight forward. Moments come that are hilarious, I remember laughing, but none of them come to mind now.

    In my capacity as a guy who watches movies and then pretends to give and honest opinion, I can't recommend you watch this. I can not say to log into Netflix, now $9.99, and find for "Masterminds" using their simplified search feature. Netflix, for when you want to watch something on your television through the internet.

6. All the Money in the World (2017) Movie Review: Worth the Controversy and Mark Wahlberg

by Banned Library in

What do you get the man who has everything? Not a grandson, that's for sure. 

Michelle Williams stars as a lady who existed and married into the Getty family. Christopher Plummer plays JP Getty, the world's first billionaire and total asshole (not Kevin Spacey). Mark Wahlberg is there, too, kids. They all come together when Williams's son, Plummer's grandson, and Wahlberg's... person of interest gets kidnapped in this biopic about events that proved rich people suck hard and that's why they're rich.

Look, this is Michelle Williams's movie. She's amazing and at no point did I think "man, I wonder what Dawson's up to on the creek?" Not so with the other actors. Every time I see Wahlberg I hear "feel it, feel it" and can't take him seriously. Plummer at this point is simply the embodiment of Scrooge and while he's damn good at it there's nothing new here.

Overall, the story is fascinating. I mean, what kind of asshole is so tight fisted with his money he won't pay his grandson's ransom? It's not even a crazy amount for him. $17 million when you're worth billions is like not dropping change into the tip jar on a $50 coffee order.

Despite the crazy reshoots with Plummer after Kevin Spacey became an asshole and Wahlberg being the only person on the shoot paid for those reshoots (yeah, Michelle Williams was paid around $1,000 to his $1.5 million).

A definite rental that will make you want to read a biography of this monster.

2. Bright (2017) Movie Review: A waste of charm and time

by Banned Library in

It's popular by being infamous, both because the writer is a jerk, the main star is charming and laughably unable to pick a good movie, and just racism. We sat and watched Bright and wow that was a waste of time.

    Will Smith stars as Denzel Washington in Training Day in this buddy cop drama with a twist. The whole world is upside down in this wacky story. Imagine if Lord of the Rings kept going and evolved into our world. Humans are pretty much like our world, elves are rich and rule everything, and orcs are treated like assholes. Smith and his partner, the first orc police man, find a young girl and a magic wand and must keepkkdkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

    I fell asleep on my keyboard.

    First Matt Damon in Downsizing and now Will Smith. To be fair, Smith is not sleeping through this role. Dude has all the charisma and life that you can get in a person and this role is just… nothing. I mean, wow. Dump Trucks of cash must have been involved in this production to get Smith and David Ayer on this. Probably the same trucks from Suicide Squad.

    And will everyone stop telling me Ayer deserves credit for Training Day. Sure, he did a really good thing in writing. His most recent efforts are just not worthy. Not even the "racism commentary" in this movie is interesting or enough to keep the story going as it feels like a side effect thrown in when Landis realized his story was dated and old hat.

The Foreigner (2017) Movie Review: Jackie Chan is Tranquil Fury

by Banned Library in

There was a Doctor Who episode that asked the question, what happens when a good man goes to war? There's a bunch of poetry folded in on that, but for the most part, if that good man is Jackie Chan, people die. Lots of them.

    Chan plays a restaurant owner in London who, after watching his daughter die from a politically motivated bombing, decides to terrorize everyone responsible using a special set of skills. His main opposition is Pierce Brosnan, a former IRA bomber turned politician, who is trying to sweep the whole mess under the rug. A bunch of twists and turns later and we get a fairly well-done action political thriller that is filled with more grit than laughs.

    I want to give Chan a hug. For decades, he was the action man that never played a villain and who attacked scores of baddies with ladders and stuff. Sometime in the last decade or so, though, the Hollywood machine has turned him into a great dramatic actor, first glimpsed as Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid remake that should not be spoken of. He shines in this role of the silent avenger working out his grief on people's faces.

    A surprising movie, this one is a matinee or a rental if you have need for something in the Taken school of film.