SPOILER ALERT* 4: Thoughts I Had Watching “The Usual Suspects” for the First Time in 2016

Thoughts I Had While Watching “The Usual Suspects” for the First Time in 2016

In Chronological Order

~ It’s weird how I know precisely nothing about this movie except that Kaiser Soze is the guilty mastermind. And it’s Kevin Spacey. And he totally gets away with it because it’s all an act. So literally all I know about this movie is the answer to the twist ending/riddle.

~Kevin Spacey looks like Voldemort on this witness stand.

~ Is that the restaurant they always visit/piss off in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” when they want a “fancy dinner out”? Where was this movie filmed? And how old is it? And what else has Bryan Singer done? Why do I know that name? GOOD LORD I know nothing about this movie. …Have I ever seen The Lesser Baldwin in a movie ever?… What am I even doing with my life?!

~Why is it that Kevin Pollak always makes me feel safe when he’s on screen? He’s like Kevin Costner in that way… But not really Kevins Sorbo or Spacey, so it isn’t a middle-aged, white Kevin thing… #NotAllKevins

~ When I was a kid, I always got Dan Hedaya confused with the guy who played Al on “Quantum Leap”…of course, I also used to get Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin’s names mixed up for some reason, so I wasn’t at all reliable with actor identification as a child.

~Ohhhh, I’m going to be Kevin-Spacey-chilling-in-the-back-of-this-van-and-casually-smoking-through-the-black-fishnets-over-his-face-while-pointing-an-automatic for Halloween.

~….Wait… If the corrupt cops got robbed while “taxiing” some smuggler for huge money, how did they suddenly get busted for all kinds of corruption just because their car got set on fire? I’m confused. If the whole department was guilty of years of corruption, wouldn’t they have better ways of covering that up? Was a cop car assault randomly investigated by the feds? I need answers, guys. This seems flimsy.

~ SHOOT BALDWIN COME ON!!… Whoa. Where did that come from, Self? Why am I cheering for these guys? I barely understand what’s going on here. Why am I so invested? Is it the power of two Kevins on one team?

~ Did they even hire a costume designer for this or did they all just bring their won wardrobe? Real Question.


~ This was the movie college bros used to quote mercilessly while attempting to sound intellectual/hard before “Fight Club” came along, wasn’t it?

~ I’m going to be honest; if I didn’t know the ending had a twist, I’d be done watching this. I’m 1hr 15 min in and bored out of my mind. This Keaton fella has precisely zero personality. I’d rather watch jeans being hand-woven than this character anymore. And this relationship of his we keep seeing is completely devoid of chemistry. Was it supposed to feel stale and bland and awkward because if so, nailed it!

~Sorry, but after watching a brutal rape and murder-of-children-and-wife scene in less than a minute, all the other gun violence feels inconsequential. I do not care about these drug dealers and con men shooting at each other on a boat. I know, I know. Being a woman ruins everything.  Damn consciousness and social-awareness getting in the way.

~ Verbal’s breakdown at the Keaton revelation has him sobbing with zero tears. C’mon man. Menthol drops on your fingers. Earn that Oscar.

~ How have I seen this entire ending sequence before but nothing else? Like, the whole last two minutes…

~…. And why didn’t he make up a story before he got to the police station?

~ Dude, showing an overweight black gal when he says “I mean, like, ‘orca’ fat” is more than a bit problematic even by 90’s standards.

~…Hunh… Alright.
… I bet this would’ve packed more of a punch had I not known the twist at the end, right?

*SPOILER ALERT is a series developed as a product of my many, many recent sick days spent lethargic, despondent, achy, and unable to do more than catch up on all those movies everyone saw years and years ago that I’m just now getting around to.

SPOILER ALERT 3: “Pet Sematary”

When I was a kid, I was the oldest of four in a relatively conservative household, so instead of catching new releases in the theatre, I got a lot of my movie exposure from reading the book version, which explains why I still own the paperback novelizations of “Home Alone” and “My Girl”, but didn’t see those movies until they’d been on VHS for a few years. Anyway, when I was about 11, I went on a Stephen King bender and read all his 80’s classics in about two weeks and then never watched the movies, so to this day, I’ve never seen “Children of the Corn”, “IT”, “Christine”, “Cujo”, or “Pet Sematary”.
I realize the social implications of these omissions and have been working to remedy this.

Now seems as good a time of year as ever, so here are:
My Thoughts While Watching “Pet Sematary” for the First Time as an Adult in 2016

~ Alright, 3 minutes into the movie and both children have been put in potentally-mortal danger, so the theme here is “Negligent Parenting”. Got it.

~ Why does this Mom character look familiar? She’s got sunglasses on but I know I know that face…

~ Ellie just asked a complete stranger “Are clams really happy?” after he told her she’d be happy as a clam in her new house. Ellie is what, 6? I don’t care what happens in this movie; I’m #TeamEllie

~ OH IT’S TASHA YAR!!! That’s the Mom character… Oh no… She got booted from the first season of Star Trek: TNG and had to go do this low budget horror flick? Now I feel even worse for Denise Crosby. She just kept getting the shaft, man.

~ How do they train kitties for movies? Why don’t Hollywood cat trainers get more awards? Do they have some sort of psychic connection that enables them to manipulate a cat for film?

~Wait, HOW is neutering a cat going to keep it from being hit by a car?! What kind of backwoods pseudoscience…?

~AAAAAHHHHSUDDENBLOODBRAINSKULL. Oh, he dead, y’all. Don’t even close the curtain, doc…. Ew, what kind of jerk starts talking to a dead guy and blaming him for his problems?!

~ GOOD! I’m glad that dead guy woke up, spit blood on you, called you by name, and chanted some weird curse at you. Maybe you’ll think twice about blaming him for your problems.

~ Hey it’s BloodBrainSkull guy again! And this time he’s all smarmy and smug and casually in your house. Again, I say GOOD. But I can only understand, like, half of what this dead guy is saying, if we’re being honest. If a ghost tries to warn you about something but he’s unintelligeable, how does that work? Are you in the clear? Is he free from his courier burden?

~ AAaaand the cat’s already dead.

~ Listen, I don’t care how ominous my elderly neighbor is, I’m not following him through the woods and over a rocky mountain with a dead cat and shovels in tow without first asking questions about what the hell is objective is. And I’m definitely not going to go through all that for hours and then agree to keep the whole thing a secret without actually knowing what we just did.

~ WHAT IS WITH THIS OLD MAN?! He drags the doc through the woods to bury his dead cat knowing it’d bring the cat back to life, but also knowing the cat would come back slightly demonic and violent!?  This man is not your friend, Doc.

~ Ohhhhh, that kittie is too chubbie and sweeet to be mean. Even with glowy eyes, flinging rats into the bathtub, I wanna snuggle it. I don’t blame him for being mad, either; I’d be pissed if my owner moved me to the middle of nowhere, lopped off my genitals, found me all murdered, dragged me across the county, and then buried me in a cursed lot to come back from the dead so he wouldn’t have to explain his pet owning negligence to his kid. Haunt away, kitty.

~ Oh. Oh the maid just killed herself. That was the first thing I legitimately didn’t see coming. In their basement? Why would you kill yourself at work?
Hunh. Okay.


~ Now we’re getting a story about Tasha Yar’s sister slowly dying of meningitis in a back room and everyone being happy when she finally bit it. Look, I know her name isn’t Tasha Yar in this movie, but we know who I’m talking about, right? Let her enjoy that character since the TNG writers clearly didn’t.
…No, I’m not letting this go. JUSTICE FOR YAR

~ Trucker recklessly driving while listening to the Ramones. Small child playing with kite in a field. Wonder where this is going.

~ Oh man. I knew that was coming but Jesus that was rough to watch. Well staged though. Point made.

~…say what you want about “helicopter parents”, but toddlers aren’t playing traffic very often these days.

~ This older sister wailing in the other room is the worst fake crying I’ve ever heard. That’s not hyperbole. It’s off-camera; couldn’t they find a voice actor for this?

~  Man, someone got punched at a funeral and I couldn’t even enjoy it. Dammit, I was counting on this movie being so bad it was laugh-worthy, but now I want to go get my kid from school and take her out for ice cream and never stop hugging her.


~ OKAY AGAIN. This old guy is back, sitting in the doc’s kitchen telling him another story about a dude who got buried in the cursed mound and came back all demon-y. He’s saying “The ground went sour so the Indians stopped using it. That place is evil.” So this man has been sitting on TWO stories that prove that spot is bad news, but he still took the doc up there to see what happens?!

~ Sure yeah. Your dad punches your husband at your toddler’s funeral, but definitely go stay with your parents for a while, Tasha Yar. Boundaries.

~ This acting isn’t going to get better, is it?

~ Doc, think this through. First of all, the bloody ghost of a dead guy you didn’t even know is standing there telling you not to, you know, dig up your dead kid or mess with the burial ground… again. That alone should be reason enough to let it go. Secondly, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO EXPLAIN TO YOUR FAMILY THAT YOUR DEAD KID IS BACK?!?!?!

~ This bloody-headed ghost looks gross but he really just cares about people, I think. He could be hanging out in the afterlife, visiting dead relatives and rock stars or even watching over his own friends and family, but instead he’s trying to save this complete stranger from poor decision-making. He’s the real MVP.

~ Uh oh. Yar is losing it, too. But look how helpful Captain Bloodhead is being! He’s a delight! I’d be okay with my guardian angel looking like that as long as his protection stays so thorough. This guy’s interventions are impeccable.

~ …He’s also the most intriguing part of this movie. The doc is dragging his dead kid’s corpse along on a midnight mountain hike and Tasha Yar is Catherine-O’Hara-in-Home-Alone-ing her way back to him and this is all still feeling very underwhelming.

~ Ohhhhbutlookat that sweet. little. demon. kittie. So sweet. Little fat floof.

~ The toddler is back and unpacking surgical knives while muttering to himself after his resurrection. Also, the demon cat is getting agitated. If this ends with a toddler and a kittie destroying everyone, this might become my new favorite movie.

~ WHY IS THIS OLD MAN ALWAYS AROUND?! He’s lived in this town forever; doesn’t he have friends his own age? He’s still pretty spry and hardy. Surely he has a couple drinking buddies.

~ I always wonder what kind of parents put their kids in movies like this. I’m watching a toddler biting and then sucking blood out of an elderly man’s neck before we had CGI technology which seems like it should cross some child-protection regulations. I hope they did that in one take… Even the kid from “The Shining” wasn’t subjected to the really scary stuff during filming.

~ Where did Gage get this stepped up outfit after he murdered that old man? Being demonic gives you hypermature smarts, skills, AND style? And how is he defeating these adults? Who can’t take a 4 year old if it comes to blows?
…And how is he calling people on the phone?!

~ Did they sedate a real kitty for this movie!?!?!? NOOOOO!!!!
Once again, Hollywood is the real evil here.

~ What happened to that maid who killed herself? What was that about? Are we going to see her again? Why was she necessary to the story?

~ The old guy just died by being bitten in the neck briefly? He couldn’t just get up and apply pressure to the wound? What were his hands doing while he was being bitten? He couldn’t just throw the kid off?

~Okay, Doc. Burn down your neighbor’s house after your wife and neighbor were suspiciously murdered “by your demon toddler son when he came back from the dead.” Totally solid narrative.
…and then bury your dead wife in the Demon Lot.
…and then make out with her when she drags herself back into your house.
… and then act surprised when she stabs you.
I don’t usually believe in victim blaming, but dude…

~ I’m angry at every single person who told me this movie was scary now. This wasn’t even fun garbage. I need a palate cleanser.

…. Is “IT” any better?