Day 199 & Day 200 & Day 201 – Stripes & Don’t Breathe & American Sniper

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Movie Title: Stripes

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 46 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Stripes stars Bill Murray and Harold Ramis as two slackers that are going absolutely nowhere. John (Bill Murray) quits his job as a taxi driver in spectacular fashion to open the movie. Then his car is repossessed. Then his girlfriend leaves him because he is a man child. He has no desire to change his ways, but he does need some money. Russell (Harold Ramis) is teaching an ESL course for adults and has no desire to do that. He doesn’t want to join the army, but John talks him into it.

The scenes before there are enlistment are the best part of the movie. The boat camp scenes are also very good though. Sergeant Hulka (Warren Oates) can’t stand the oafs in his unit, but he tries his best all the while going toe to toe with John’s antics. Great in small roles are Sean Young soon to be in Blade Runner, John Candy whose mud wrestling scene is unforgettable, and Judge Reinhold in a small though uniquely oafish role.

The third act following graduation is not as good as the rest of the movie and involves the world’s most high tech RV. There are laughs to be had in the latter part of the movie, but definitely less than earlier as Murray and Ramis’s antics get toned down.

Verdict:

It is a very good comedy and the first two thirds are fantastic. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Don’t Breathe (2016)

 

Movie Title: Don’t Breathe

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 28 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Don’t Breathe is a unique horror movie that requires a willingness to suspend disbelief on a massive scale. Money, Rocky, and Alex have a scam going. Alex’s father runs a security company that houses codes and keys for local properties in Detroit. Alex can steal from these files. They can break into the houses easy as pie and make out like bandits. But, Alex has a lot of rules about what they can bring with them and what they can take. He is very worried about getting caught and doesn’t want to spend his life behind bars. Money couldn’t care less about Alex’s logic. Money eventually gets the lowdown on a sweet job.

There is a blind veteran sitting on somewhere close to a million dollars. He is a recluse that lives in an abandoned part of the city and they mark him as an easy target. The one catch is that they will have to rob it while he is home. He doesn’t leave. The Blind Man (Stephen Lang) is no easy mark. He torments the trio and tests their ability to survive. The Blind Man is willing to do anything it takes to protect his home and keep his money. Dialogue with The Blind Man is fairly minimal. Can they make it out alive?

In order to enjoy the movie you have to be willing to accept that a blind man can do what The Blind Man does in the movie. At times he is uniquely effected by sound. At other times he fires off round after round of bullets in an enclosed space and is uneffected. He also achieves some things that I think it would be extraordinarily difficult for a blind hermit to achieve. There are also some seriously significant continuity problems with the movie. For example, a washer machine turns on when the power is turned off.

Verdict:

On the whole it is a fairly enjoyable movie for what it is although it did not live up to the hype surrounding it. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: American Sniper (2014)

 

Movie Title: American Sniper

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 2 hr. 13 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

American Sniper stars Bradley Cooper in a fantastic turn as U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. The movie opens with a montage of Kyle’s life starting in childhood. Kyle is an all-American from Texas who had a fairly traditional upbringing. He got into the rodeo, but after terrorist attacks at U.S. embassies in Africa he decides to enlist in the armed forces. The child acting at the beginning is pretty weak as is the dialogue at different stretches of the movie. At points this is a strength. From watching other recent Clint Eastwood movies this is something he has struggled with as a director in recent years.

The movie then moves through Kyle’s four tours of duty and his stateside return associated with each. He grows more distant from his wife and family while clearly showing worsening signs of post-traumatic stress with each incident. The action shot in Iraq is by far the highlight of the movie. Kyle is shown as facing off against an elite Syrian sniper which does not necessarily correlate with actual events, but makes for an entertaining movie. Ultimately, Kyle has to learn to be a soldier as well as a husband and father.

Verdict:

It is a very good movie with small flaws that do not detract from the overall final product. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: The Theory of Everything (2014)

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