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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

BYOB

byobriot

43 Responses to “BYOB”

  1. Bergeron says:

    Sorry to Bother You is the first film in a long time to make me feel and think beyond the walk back to the car afterwards … when I first saw the equisapien my first thought was the man with a sheep’s body in O Lucky Man

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    Hey a BYOB! Awesome. I am so behind on summer movies. I really want to see Skyscraper. Looks like fun. Amused by how so many critics say it being derivative and unrealistic are bad things. I see no problem with either. Watched Revenge last night. Lives up to the hype. Brutal, beautifully shot, hell of a lead performance. Incredible makeup effects. Looking forward to Sharp Objects. Will get around to it tonight. Castle Rock trailer is excellent. Can’t wait. Oh and Sorry to Bother You also looks great. We lost a Landmark here last month so not as many indies showing here.

  3. hcat says:

    Was your Landmark bought by another chain or is it becoming a Sprint Store?

    Even if they become something else it seems a loss to lose screens, plus all the Landmarks I’ve been in were pretty well kept up (though its been awhile since I set foot in one).

  4. Stella's Boy says:

    We had two Landmarks in Milwaukee. The bigger and better one was taken over by a nonprofit that runs the annual film festival. They are a good organization renovating and reopening the theater in a month. That leaves a small two-screen Landmark that might either close or be taken over by the nonprofit. I’d miss having no Landmark here. At the same time, the nonprofit is doing cool stuff in addition to the festival. They are working with John Ridley, who is from here, to open up a film facility/creative hub. The Landmark taken over by the nonprofit is an absolutely gorgeous theater: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_Theatre_(Milwaukee)

  5. hcat says:

    Maybe its that it doesn’t come up in conversation but do people hear the same ‘why don’t they nominate shows that people actually watch’ when it comes to the emmys like I always hear about the Oscars? Thrones, Things and This is Us grab about 10 million plus eyeballs for each installment they drop but most of the others will pull less than 2 million or so before reaching their secondary market. Are there people out there complaining that the Emmy’s are out of touch? Shouldn’t there be a bunch of people bitching that NCIS and Bluebloods never get the attention they deserve?

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    I have heard that argument hcat. That when it comes to TV, critics and awards mostly ignore what people actually watch and talk about. That no one recaps Blue Bloods or NCIS but they do recap shows with only a million people viewers.

  7. Eric says:

    I finally saw Hereditary, the day before it disappeared from theaters here in town. Not the best horror movie in recent years but definitely up there. A remarkably unpleasant experience.

    Was there any discussion of it here? I avoided discussion before I saw it but would be curious to read through any thoughts of the other horror aficionados here.

  8. palmtree says:

    This Is Us is a huge hit show, and it’s also an Emmy award winner. Also, Game of Thrones has won a bunch, and it’s HBO’s most successful show.

  9. palmtree says:

    Oh I missed hcat’s more thorough reference to this phenomenon above…whoops.

    My point is that TV audiences rally around quality shows better than movie audiences do. There’s just more intimacy you develop with characters that are piped directly into your home and that you can follow for longer than a measly two hours. And in this era of peak TV, audiences are primed to see quality and not just formulaic procedurals/sitcoms.

  10. Stella's Boy says:

    Suddenly there are gushing reviews for new M:I all over the place. I recognize all of the critics, but there’s effusive praise and then there’s these claims. Best action movie in years; best movie of the year; every single one makes clear it’s the best something. And maybe it really is awesome but they all read like they were written by a studio PR person.

    I feel like a common complaint about the Emmys used to be that it kept nominating old favorites even when they weren’t as good as opposed to newer shows. I know I’ve often looked at the noms and found them really boring. I think maybe that’s changed a little in recent years.

  11. Pete B says:

    “And maybe it really is awesome but they all read like they were written by a studio PR person.”

    C’mon Stella, you don’t think Tom broke his ankle for nothing do you? He’s getting all the sympathy now.

  12. Stella's Boy says:

    Ok fair point Pete. One review says the movie proves Cruise is the greatest movie star ever, so breaking his ankle paid off.

  13. hcat says:

    ‘My point is that TV audiences rally around quality shows better than movie audiences do.’

    I think comparing the ratings of Mad Men to that of Dancing with the Stars might blast a hole in that thesis.

    Looking at some of the highly touted cable successes the audience size of The Americans matches that of Phantom Thread or other oscary movies. And is there any difference between the comic book success of Walking Dead on television and Marvel and DC in theaters? That people are drawn to eye candy of Thrones (which honestly is what? Dallas crossed with Conan the Barbarian) and the eye candy of Avengers?

    More people bought tickets to Death of Stalin than watched the last episode of Veep, and they had to leave the house to do it.

  14. hcat says:

    I would never say that Cruise is the greatest ever but his enthusiasm is contagious. Like DiCaprio or Pheonix I wouldn’t list them as my favorite but I know buying a ticket that they are not going to phone it in.

    If you look at past movie stars I think only John Wayne and Clint were still putting out hits at this age. You could include Pacino in that short list, but he was hardly the matinee star the others were.

  15. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah I admire Cruise for his dedication and always giving 110%. And maybe the movie really is that good because the lovefest for him and the movie is in overdrive.

  16. hcat says:

    Oh, and Happy 30th to Die Hard.

    It has held up a lot better than I have in the last three decades.

    And I took a look at some of those reactions Fallout, some of those seem like real people you can trust instead of the just happy to tweet because I got to see it early crowd. But best action movie since Fury Road is mega praise indeed.

  17. Mike says:

    What’re the other contenders for best action movie since Fury Road?

  18. Stella's Boy says:

    Oh I agree they do seem like real people but the tweets read like studio PR. Just stood outto me.

    Obviously Hurricane Heist. No contest.

  19. palmtree says:

    Hcat, Dancing with the Stars proves my point. It’s consistently nominated for Emmy Awards including Best Reality-Competition Program. Yeah, maybe you might call it formulaic, but reality shows are their own genre…that have different standards for originality. So as far as Emmys and TV audiences go, it is an example of quality meeting a large demand.

    I hope Fallout does well. Paramount could use the win.

  20. hcat says:

    This could be snobbery but best reality program reads to me like worlds tallest midget. But I do see your point.

    And while Paramount (and all the Viacom properties) seems like a pretty lazy studio I do appreciate the chances they routinely take. They shut down their Vantage label but still kept making films that you could see released under that label. Plus any hit unrelated to Disney is a positive move.

    I made some predictions at the beginning of the summer and it looks like I will be proven wrong on each of them.

    8 will not be the highest grossing Oceans.
    Fallout will not be the lowest grossing MI.
    and Skyscraper doesn’t look like it will outgross AntMandWasp. Though when I made that last one I didn’t know that Sky was a strictly Legendary produced film. They are like 0 for 6 now?

    Though even my horrible track record wont stop me from declaring Star is Born will top 300 domestic.

  21. palmtree says:

    Nathan For You is the only reality show I watch, but mainly because it’s a parody of reality shows (but also much more than too), and it’s brilliant and funny and insightful. But alas, no nomination for Nathan (I think they might have put it in the variety show category which I think is just silly.)

  22. Triple Option says:

    Anyone see Sicario 2? I was on board and entertained but man I’ve got way too many questions about it upon review. I tried to check online to see if other people had the same issues and questions I did and was a bit surprised to see all the down votes for anyone who didn’t love the film. I would’ve given the first one Best Pic for the year it came out but I didn’t realize it had become such a protected class, fan boy status type film. I could see why people would enjoy the second one but beyond questioning??? Wouldn’t have thunk it.

  23. Aaron Aradillas says:

    So, what’s going on with MCN? I admit to being surprised to see this BYOB.

  24. movieman says:

    I’m a “MI” fan, but the 147-minute run time does give me pause. (You’d almost swear that it was an “Avengers movie.)
    Could definitely use a late-ish summer pick-me-up, though.

    My biggest disappointment w/ “Skyscraper” was its almost total absence of humor.
    Which was especially surprising since Rawson Marshall Thurber directed yock-fests “Dodgeball” and “We’re the Millers.”
    On the plus side, I appreciated its lack of bloat. 94 minutes and out before end credits.

  25. Pj says:

    It’s hard to keep up with movies when the world is going to Hell in a handbasket. To those that still do, I salute you!

  26. Bulldog68 says:

    Hopefully The Meg can provide some brainless fun Movieman. And Happytime Murders feels like it could be really good or really dumb, but nothing in between.

  27. movieman says:

    Hope you’re right about “The Meg,” BD.
    Can’t say the trailer does a whole lot for me. Not sure whether it’s meant to be taken seriously, or if it’s a put-on.
    I like Statham, but his presence in a movie almost automatically screams, “shoulda-been-a-direct-to-DVD release.”

    Also agree about “Happytime” looking like it go either way, too.
    Another “Sausage Party” or…not.

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    The Meg looks like good summer fun. I don’t think it’s taking itself too seriously. I also love shark movies, including bad ones, so it won’t take much to satisfy me.

    I’m coming around on my skepticism of those M:I reviews. There’s just so many of them. Seems like it’s going to be a total blast.

  29. Pete B says:

    Triple, I walked out of Sicario 2 thinking I’d wasted my time as it seemed like it was just a placeholder to set up #3. Then I read a review that examined how it was a subtle deconstruction of the 1st and it made better sense. (I did see it without any sleep.)
    Curious what your questions are.

  30. Bulldog68 says:

    I use to think that about Statham as well, but you won’t believe what movie of his made me think he actually had some nuances that could amount to more, Expendables 1. For some reason amid all the testosterone, he played his character fairly realistically in an unrealistic movie, and I felt he showed some range. Maybe it looked that way by comparison with the other actors who were all pissing bullets, but I actually think there’s some there there. Would love to see him in an ensemble comedy like Love Actually.

  31. Chucky says:

    Sorry To Bother You goes national today and wide next Friday. I know of at least 2 suburban arthouses that tried to play it this week and were turned down by Annapurna. [One such arthouse is playing Hereditary instead.]

    And it’s wonderful to see the Whitney Houston “true story” docudrama tank, thanks to all the film snobs who still won’t admit she lip-synced “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a Super Bowl.

  32. Bender says:

    The National Anthem is ALWAYS pre-recorded at the Superbowl as it is timed to fireworks and jets flying overhead.
    Just ask Kathie Lee Gifford (I’m a Today show 4th hour fan)

  33. movieman says:

    Has anyone seen the trailer for Lanthimos’ “The Favourite”?
    OMG!
    It’s like Ken Russell returned from the grave to make a movie.
    Cannot frigging wait!

  34. Stella's Boy says:

    I have and I agree that is an exceptional trailer. Really excited about that one.

  35. Triple Option says:

    My Sicario 2 Questions:
    **SPOILERS ABOUND!!**

    I nearly lost it when they showed the kidnapped girl in some house in Texas. I thought that was really sloppy. They’d take her to the base at Gitmo, if anywhere, I thought. Nearly nudged the strangers on both sides of me to ask “What the hell are they doing taking her into the US??” Then I saw it was a staged kidnapping, I thought ‘ah, now I get it.’ Now, obviously you have no movie if you do the most realistic thing in releasing the girl to her father on the Mexico side of the US border but what I wasn’t sure of,

    1) Did they (the CIA et al) have some patsies to pin the kidnapping on? At first it looked like they wanted to pin it on a rival cartel but then once you bring her to the US, don’t you need some bodies to bury or people to prosecute? There’d be too many questions. “Hello, Kingpin? There was a shootout and our agents found your daughter. Here she is. No need to investigate further, we’re sure all the bad guys are dead. Yeah, no, we’re not really concerned with how she got in the country or what sort of pipeline may be in place. Just come get her and we’ll let her explain everything to you. I’m sure you’ll look over trivial details like how did we find her in the first place. Yes, have a nice day. No need to thank us.”

    2) Were they expecting the girl to be killed anyway? Josh Brolin’s character takes the girl into Witness Protection instead of being killed at the border. What changed that suddenly made her a loose end that needed to be cleaned up at that point as opposed to before? The shootout was a rival cartel, right? There’s your alibi. Which, tbh, I’m not even sure why the rival cartel wanted her dead? Did she learn that the whole thing was bs? (Nevermind that they’re all soft, cuddly Terminator 2s in this film as opposed the rationalizing death angels they were in the first)

    3)What was the whole purpose of having the cartels go after each other? I get that the DOJ could have more latitude in prosecution and how the CIA could deal with cartels when they expanded the laws to make drug dealers terrorists. But what was the CIA hoping to get by starting a war between the rivals? I kinda think they said but then the mission’s purpose never resurfaces. Wasn’t the hidden point in Sicario 1 that the CIA wants to prune the cartels back to keep them manageable but they’re not there to eradicate them?

    4) Once it’s learned 2 of the grocery store bombers were US born, what was the point of continuing the operation? Seemed like a perfect point the pack up shop and walk away. Let the cartels burrow down that rabbit hole of figuring out what happened. There’s no motive for the CIA so even if the cartels figure out it’s not each other, they could have just as easily suggested alien abduction and it wouldn’t have been any more farfetched than the CIA taking her. They have absolutely zero reason to do it. Of course then there’s no film but I’m missing what they were hoping to accomplish by still going through with whatever they were trying to do.

    Thoughts on any of it?
    ** END OF SPOILERS **

  36. leahnz says:

    is this the ‘we told you so’ thread
    (if you didn’t ‘hear’, maybe you need to look at who you’re listening to)

    eric re: ‘hereditary’ in case you see this (i concur with your description of it as “A remarkably unpleasant experience”):

    ———- SPOILERS ————-

    not sure if there was much detailed discussion here – i avoided any reviews/discussion so as to steer clear of spoilers and stay as much in the dark as poss – but oddly enough it was a single comment by someone on the MCN twitter feed that i read before i could avert my eyes, which compared the ending of ‘hereditary’ to ‘kill list’, that didn’t exactly spoil the movie for me but it gave a whiff of an inkling that sort of coalesced while i was watching the movie; i don’t actually think the comparison of the two flicks is apt in this regard because the final movement of ‘kill list’ in which the occult aspect is revealed is such a surprise and really comes out of left field, while in ‘hereditary’ it’s well telegraphed throughout.

    i think the thing that first gnawed at me was the mum’s story in her therapy group about her super weird mother and her nutjob fam, and how her mother’s brother committed suicide because his sister “put people inside of him” (paraphrasing what i can remember, i’ve only seen it once and a second viewing would probably clear up some questions i have and there’s so much to talk about, but damn i’m not really keen to experience that ickiness again just yet and i think it’s left cinemas here anyway)

    re the final few minutes in the tree house, i’m of two minds: i think in a way it may have been more effective to eschew such a literal, visual spelling out of what we already know from watching the movie and putting the pieces together (for something perhaps more esoteric, like for instance have the final sequence only portrayed in the miniature diorama, as is the final shot i think, or some such), it is a bit on the nose but having said that it didn’t ruin it for me.

  37. leahnz says:

    triple option:
    sicario ‘needs more blunt’ 2 is poorly written. hopefully that answers some of the above

  38. Stella's Boy says:

    Holy bomb Skyscraper. Rough couple months for The Rock at the domestic box office. I really expected it to do much better than this. It looks like dumb summer fun. Crushed by Hotel Transylvania 3. Ouch.

  39. Pete B says:

    Wow, Triple. That seemed liked a thesis and I was expecting a few short questions. But since I asked, I’ll do my best to provide some paltry thoughts.

    ** SICARIO 2 SPOILERS AHEAD**

    1.) The whole house business seemed like an overly elaborate ruse just for the daughter’s benefit. Like you said, there wouldn’t be a movie if they just did it in Mexico. I think it’d have been a “round-up the usual suspects” thing to provide patsies, but that’s putting in more thought than the movie did.

    2.) The whole taking the girl into Witness protection ties in with the ‘deconstruction of the 1st film’ that I mentioned in my comment. Josh Brolin was a totally amoral gung-ho agent willing to do anything, and he suddenly develops a conscience when it comes to a.) killing Del Toro and b.) killing the girl Del Toro was trying to protect. The expedient thing to do would be to use one of the rival cartel’s guns and shoot her dead. If Brolin couldn’t stomach it, I’m pretty sure Jeffrey Donovan could as he was “what are you doing?” This is why I said the movie seemed like a placeholder. ‘Hey I’ve got this great idea for another Sicario movie with Emily Blunt, but we need Brolin to have morals in this one for it to work.” Also, Del Toro’s character goes from being unstoppable in the 1st film, to almost being taken out by a teenage wannabe gangbanger. Your analogy of “soft cuddly Terminator 2s” really fits there. And why does Del Toro meet with the kid who shot him at the end? [I read some review that said the kid purposely shot him in the face so he wouldn’t die, and Del Toro realized this and came back to tutor him. What??? I thought it was simply the kid had never shot anyone before and misjudged the aim.]

    3.) I think there was a throwaway line in the original briefing that if the cartels are fighting against each other, they’ll be too busy to coordinate with another country regarding safe passage of possible terrorists. It was flimsy.

    4.) Doesn’t Catherine Keener’s character say something about shutting it all down? Can’t remember if it was her or Modine. There is talk of “a shootout between Mexican police and US agents playing out on the evening news”. So wouldn’t the Cartel leader be aware there was said shootout the same time his daughter was kidnapped? Again, it was poorly thought out.

    I envision Sicario 3 has a now calloused Emily Blunt working with a Josh Brolin with principles against a totally unrestrained Del Toro.

  40. Bulldog68 says:

    “Rough couple of months for the Rock”
    Are our memories that short that Jumanji’s $404m is already forgotten.

    I know Rampage was a bit of a whiff but it also had a lot to deal with, BP, a surprisingly gonzo A Quiet Place, Ready Player One, and Infinity Wars 2 weeks later. This would have been a major summer schedule a few years back.

    That being said I did expect more as well, given that AntMan didn’t hold exceptionally well this weekend. Is 3 Marvel movies in 5 months a tad too much?

    Also, imagine if Bruce Willis was the baddie in Skyscraper. I think that would’ve put a few butts in the seats. He may not be the draw he once was but I think it would’ve been a gimmick that paid off. Could you imagine Bruce quipping at some point “I know guys like you. I’ve been guys like you. I was a good guy once. That’s why I know how to beat you. Yippee Kayay Motherfucker!” That’s an additional $15m on opening weekend easy.

  41. Stella's Boy says:

    I didn’t forget Jumanji. Hence rough couple months, meaning Rampage and Skyscraper. Willis would have been fun. Cool idea. OK Rampage had stiff competition but that’s a pretty awful number for Skyscraper any way you look at it.

  42. Triple Option says:

    When I wrote my response, I wanted to make sure my questions were in context. I just got a little long in my explanations, haha.

    **MOAR SICARIO 2 SPOILERS!!*****

    #1 OK, so if they did say what they were hoping to fully accomplish out of the kidnapping, then I wasn’t alone in missing it. I know they wanted they wanted it to look like another cartel did it but if things had gone according to plan, what was it they were expecting to happen next? Just more fighting? I felt like there was a specific end for that means but it was lost in there somewhere.

    #2 – Leah also wanted more Blunt (any Blunt) and here’s at least one thing I can defend the filmmakers on in not including her. In the original, Blunt’s character was our eyes and ears in witnessing how corrupt the players could be in the drug war if left unchecked. Nice touch by Brolin’s character to make sure no lawyers were in on the mission. I thought it was due to them making lousy administrators or not ones to take direction well. Yeah, nope, they’d know uh the law. Anyway, Blunt becomes the conscience that questions things and the fight to play by the rules, not just for legal but ethical reasons. Now that’s she’s in and has seen how the sausage is made, she can’t come back and reprise the same role or position. She’d know what she’s getting herself into and what they’re about. She’d have no moral authority to question anything. It made perfect sense as to why she got out of the game in the original one. She’d leave that bloody, lawless mess to other people. I also thought it was a good reason why she doesn’t off Del Toro at the end of the film, what good would it do? (Besides her not doing it because she’d just become one of them.) Unless she’s going to play Batman or Internal Affairs and sorta fight corruption from the inside, there’s no role for her here in Sic 2.

    # 3 Yeah, I vaguely remember them wanting them at each other’s throats but I thought there was more of a tie between cartels and terrorists groups they wanted to shut down. The way it played out, the only link between the initial bombers and cartel was that they showed up at some Mexico version of Stuckey’s, paid the fee and got on the bus. The early plot of the movie seemed like that was the big fish they were going to go after, stop the connection between drugs and bombs. Not that the whole safe passage thing didn’t potentially have enough meat to carry the film, it just seemed like there was a lot of huff, puff and ka-pow to set up a complex geo-political thriller only to turn out to be get Felicia home for prom.

    #4 Keener’s character did want it shut down. Then it seemed more like a basic crime movie. “The commissioner is shutting down the unit and shutting down you. Turn in your gun and your badge.” *Next scene, the hero goes to his criminal contacts to find the perp…his own way. Dunt-dunt-dunn-daahhh! Only in Sic 2, there’s no clearly defined mission of what still needs to be done. Brolin has assets out in the field he needs to clean up. Yes, this is based on who I thought they were in the first film, but it seemed like a simple “Sec of State is pulling the plug, stand down” would have sufficed. Well, they still have to get the girl back. Do they? What for? They sure as hell wouldn’t have cared about her getting home safely in the first one. I mean besides there being no movie without trying to get her home, what was the point? It’s the whole what are they doing this all for to begin with that was lacking.

    Per your Sicario 3 idea, maybe. I got the sense Del Toro wanted to recruit the kid to work for the CIA, the way they’d try to flip a hacker. Just more ruthless.

    *** END SICARIO 2 SPOILERS! ***

    IDK, I’ll wait for Sic 2 to windup on Amazon and see what I missed but really it shouldn’t be so difficult.

  43. leahnz says:

    a little re-up of a verse from my poli-poem from last year (was it just last year? one year feels like ten at this point), holding up well:

    traitor, traitor
    putin fellator

    triple op: i should’ve been more accurate and wrote “sicario ‘should be blunt’ 2″ because yes, i agree shoehorning kate into the movie as it is wouldn’t work at all; 2’s just a bunch of cliché macho bullshit (not sure writing cliché macho bullshit is sheridan’s strong suit) minus any of the compelling relationships, emotional tension or subversion of the original, the backbone of which is kate and alejandro’s uncomfortable but charismatic connection and sicario’s obsession with the young woman who reminds him of his lost daughter. the fact that our protagonist is played for a complete patsy and pretty much loses everything except her life in the end in spite of her righteousness is what makes it somewhat unique – and perhaps there was an interesting follow-up to be had, kate and partner reggie (the awesome kaluuya) find a way to enact retribution and take down smarmy spook brolin and the assassin by way of clever tactics and subterfuge, rather than just some boring duderino re-tread that leaves out everything that made the original worthwhile

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