Escape Plan. Even though Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone can get out of a high-tech prison that’s sealed off from the world in an enormous cargo ship, they are unable to escape from the Misfits’ enthusiasm for their new film.
Captain Phillips and A Hijacking are as different in execution as they are similar in subject matter. Captain Phillips, although presented in a straightforward, almost documentary style, still embraces many of the Hollywood conventions in terms of character and structure. A Hijacking, on the other hand, presents a more fragmented, dispassionate story, the moments of repressed fear and anger resulting in a steady, building, cumulative intensity, which is both involving and sometimes frustrating for a viewer. The Misfits weigh the pros and cons of these two filmmaking approaches, and also ask the question, “Who is the captain?” and wonder, “Does anyone really want to be the captain?”
The Exorcist, Jaws, and Psycho. Each one of these films spawned a sequel, bastard offspring that, for the most part, the creators of the original versions refused to have anything to do with. In this Bonus Halloween Episode, the Misfits take a second look at Exorcist II: The Heretic, Jaws 2, and Psycho II, and find that while these are flawed films, lost in the shadows cast by their predecessors, they do have their own small ambitions and marginal successes. They are also, in many cases, unintentionally laugh-out-loud funny.
2 Guns. It has all the elements found in a Tarantino film: a crazy diner scene, a non-linear timeline, and a couple of bickering anti-heroes exchanging clever quips. Unfortunately, what it doesn’t have is Quentin Tarantino.
The Sapphires. This film is a lot like a cover version of a classic American hit performed by a foreign band. Just different enough to be interesting, and while not particularly original, makes up for it with a lot of energy and heart.
R.I.P.D. Maybe the ad campaign for this film should have been a variation on the old Certs commercial. “It’s a ripoff of Men in Black.” “No, it’s a ripoff of Ghostbusters.” “No, it’s two, two, two ripoffs in one!”
After Earth. It’s not as bad as The Last Airbender or Devil, but it’s definitely not as good as The Sixth Sense. So where does that leave M. Night Shyamalan? After After Earth, maybe without a career.
Man of Steel. This latest reboot of the Superman franchise is a little light on the Clark Kent action but more than makes up for it with a heavy dose of Russel Crowe. Still, a better title might have been Jor-el and Son.
Oblivion. This film has any number of homages, or, if you’re less generous, rip-offs of better science fiction films in it, including 2001, Total Recall, and Planet of the Apes. Unfortunately, what it doesn’t have is Stanely Kubrick, Paul Verhoven, or Rod Serling. Oh yeah, it also features one of the worst 3rd acts to hit the big screen in a long time.
The Great Gatsby. The eyes of T. J. Eckleburg have nothing on the Misfits. In this Special Great Gatsby Episode, we stare long and hard at three of Hollywood’s attempts to bring F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic to the screen. Like the bespectacled eyes of Doctor Eckleburg, our gaze is often disapproving and occasionally downright judgmental. The part of Jay Gatsby has been played by Alan Ladd (1949), Robert Redford (1974), and Leonardo DiCaprio (2013). But when all is said and done, the question the Misfits must answer is, “Are any of these Gatsbys all that great?”