Posts Tagged ‘John Cusack’

Media Update 8/16/18

August 16, 2018

Ingrid Goes West

I had been meaning to watch this movie for some time. I have been a huge Aubrey Plaza fan since first seeing her in Parks and Recreation. I became a bigger fan when I watched her various interviews on all three incarnations of Conan O’Brien’s talk show. She is so wonderfully awkward that I wanted to see her in everything I could. I am still working on that. This movie is listed as a “dark comedy” but I saw it more as a kind of new take on the horror/thriller genre. It was kind of a smart and softer take on those genres. I felt really tense and uncomfortable throughout the whole movie in a good way. The movie is primarily about social media and how people can take ownership of the people they are fans of. What made it so scary is that I have seen it in YouTube comments, on Reddit, and I have heard of scary incidents that streamers/YouTubers have had to endure. Plaza is great as usual as she revels in being weird and crazy but extremely personable. Elizabeth Olsen plays opposite her and does a great job at playing a more nuanced character that explores the manufactured reality that celebrities exude. We also get the second role of O’Shea Jackson who made his debut in Straight Outta Compton. The movie takes a lot of the biggest romantic comedy tropes and plays them straight and makes them super creepy and it makes me realize how many bad rom coms are basically stalker films. The movie is also shot very well and it looks very LA from top to bottom. I definitely recommend this movie.

Better Off Dead

This movie was very much hyped on the Harmontown Podcast while Curtis Armstrong was visiting during an episode (he’s a regular). The making of the movie sounded fascinating and the more I heard about it, the more I wanted to see it. Finally, I got a hold of this week. The movie is directed and written by “Savage” Steve Holland whose background is in animation. The movie is semi-autobiographical apparently as Holland created the movie from a couple of short films he made after his girlfriend dumped him when he was younger. He was in a very dark place but when he showed the films to his friends they found them to be funny. In the movie, John Cusack is dumped by his girlfriend and he goes to a very dark place but then he learns to be a better person. Oh and he also enters a ski competition and has to deal with high school. His character is not very likable when he first shows up but he grew on me. Curtis Armstrong plays one of his few friends and he is delightfully weird in probably my favorite role I have seen him in. Diane Franklin was such a delight in this and I fell in love with her character instantly (although her early scenes are pretty dark). The movie kind of felt like a parody of eighties romance adventure movies in the vein of Wet Hot American Summer. It was the same kind of parody as Airplane where there are plenty of over the top gags that play with the tropes of these movies but they still use most of those tropes. The movie is downright weird and I was constantly trying to figure out how to feel about it. In the end, I decided I loved it based on how it ended. I definitely recommend this one.

Fatal Attraction

I felt like this was the perfect movie to finish this week’s theme and I happened to have not seen this one yet. Everyone pretty much knows what this movie is about but I will drop a synopsis anyway. A married man (Michael Douglas) has an affair with a woman (Glenn Close) who becomes obsessed and then unhinged, making his life a living hell. In today’s climate, I could definitely write this movie and make Glenn Close the hero. Michael Douglas is great at shades of gray here but I definitely spent most of the movie hating him. They went to great lengths to depict him as a really good guy but the ease he has when cheating is troubling. Glenn Close is good most of the time but she gets a little over the top at certain moments. Anne Archer plays Douglas’ wife and she does a great job playing the truly injured party. The movie is obviously a classic for a reason but I think my expectations were too high. I did not really like the pacing as things were drawn out. This kind of lessened the tension of “thriller” aspects through most of it. It could have been helped by another pass in the editing bay to shorten it a little bit more to ratchet up the energy throughout. Still, it is a pretty good movie but you can skip it if you want.

Music of the Week:
E. G. Daily – One Way Love

Groove Armada – Inside My Mind

Blackbriar – Until Eternity

Walk The Moon – Shut Up and Dance

Post Malone – Psycho ft. Ty Dolla $ign

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s themes are “Obsessive Behavior” and “Problematic Behavior”
– I watched more The Following Season 3
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki
– I watched more Barry Kramer on YouTube
– I watched more Luke Cage Season 2
– I watched more Wynonna Earp Season 2
– I watched more Supergirl Season 3
– I finished NCIS Season 15
– I want to see BlackkKlansman and Sorry For Bothering You so bad. Might do a double feature soon.

Media Update 8/2/18

August 2, 2018

Being John Malkovich

I have been hearing about this movie since it came out as I am sure plenty of people who have not seen it experienced the same thing. If you have heard the premise and you think the movie has been spoiled, then you are wrong. This movie is absolutely insane. It has so many twists and turns and themes that is honestly overwhelming at times. At various times I found the movie to be funny, deep, and uncomfortable and sometimes the three feelings got mixed together. This is a surreal fantasy where nothing is quite real and everything is like a series of comedy routines but teetering on the edge of horror. The movie stars John Cusack and a barely recognizable Cameron Diaz as a couple. Cusack is incredibly nerdy and weird and strangely relatable but also easy to hate. Cameron Diaz is sympathetic but also just insane. There is also Catherine Keener as probably the most confident woman in the world. Of course, John Malkovich is in the movie. He is just so charming and ends up usually being the straight man to the madness around him. There are also great character actors like Orson Bean, Ned Bellamy, and Mary Kay Place. The movie is offbeat and weird in all the right ways. I definitely recommend this one as it is delightfully weird.

The Men Who Stare at Goats

We already know that the US Military is very good at wasting money. So the premise of a special PsyOps squad dealing with trying to find new, stupid ways to deal with our enemies. The team of Ewan MacGregor and George Clooney has so much chemistry that it is an obvious pairing. Ewan MacGregor’s journalist character is pathetic and gullible and charming. George Clooney is dashing and crazy, sort of like he was in Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? mixed with a little Danny Ocean. Robert Patrick is here too and he is always a little scary with a lot of gravity. Jeff Bridges plays an army man who gets sucked into the hippie movement and comes out with his brain baked. We also have appearances from Stephen Root, Nick Offerman, and Stephen Lang. The movie is quirky and fun but it was not really as good as I thought it could be. Still, it is a fun romp through Iraq which is a phrase I never thought I would type. It is a fun enough movie to put on the background. I would recommend it for that.


I have not seen many Seth Rogen films because most of them are Judd Apatow movies and I am not really a fan of those. However, what I have seen (Green Hornet, Zack and Miri) have proved to me that Seth Rogen is a lot of fun. Here, he plays the fun party animal who has grown up and has a family but is in denial about maybe missing a step. Rose Byrne plays his wife who also wishes she had not left the party behind. She is a lot of fun and I had not really seen her in a comedy role before (I had only seen her in X-Men: First Class). They are opposed by Zac Effron and Dave Franco. Effron is on top of his game here, alternately being very charming and then dropping into a darker, Pacino-esque persona. Dave Franco (who I like better than his sleazy brother) switches between fun frat bro and hyper-intelligent. The movie is full of fun cameos from people like Lisa Kudrow, Hannibal Burress, Lonely Island, the cast of Workaholics, Randall Park, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jason Mantzoukas. There are also relative newcomers like Jerrod Carmichael and Craig Roberts who are a lot of fun. I fully expected this movie to be dumb and it was but in all the best ways. It was way better than it should have been and I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:

Psychedelic Horseshit – Portals

Within Temptation – Paradise

Fort Minor – Remember the Name

GFRIEND – Time for the Moon Night

Antigone Rising – Everywhere is Home

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Down the Rabbit Hole”
– I watched more Agents of Shield Season 5
– I watched more Luke Cage Season 2
– I watched more Supergirl Season 3
– I watched more NCIS Season 15
– I watched more Blue Bloods Season 8
– I watched more Barry Kramer on YouTube

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