Well, that was fast!  Seriously, how is it already the end of 2016?  I feel like it should only be August.  To be fair, until recently, the weather felt like it was still August, but now the cooler weather is upon us.  It’s getting darker earlier.  It just makes you want to stay indoors and watch movies.  So curl up under the blanket on your couch, and I’ll give you a pair of movies to enjoy.

The first one this month, well, you probably beat me to it.  I kept trying to make it out to the theater to see it and next thing you know, I’m waiting for it to show up on Amazon Prime.  The second movie is the next stop in our series of films about businesses and their upper management, in particular, and how they relate to their customers.  If you watched last month’s film, you already know that I’m not bringing you anything that will bore your socks off.  If you didn’t, trust your old Cougs here.  This is a really good one.

Suicide Squad (2016) [PG-13]
Suicide Squad (2016) PosterI should start off by clarifying that I watched the “Extended Edition.”  I say that for two reasons.  One, from what I understand, the theatrical version of Suicide Squad was a little hard to follow if you weren’t already familiar with the story and characters.  And two, I’m hoping there is a “Director’s Cut” or “Extra Extended” version out there somewhere.  Cause, it is still a little hard to follow.

I get it.  There are so many characters in Suicide Squad that you have to establish and feature that it’s either going to feel underwhelming or the movie is going to be four hours long.  I wish they had made this four hours long.  I feel like there’s a really fun story in this movie but the first, oh, 45 minutes or so is just paced horribly.  David Ayer, the director and screenwriter, introduces us to something like 20 characters in about 6 minutes, and it’s hard for someone like me who does not know the backstory to really catch on to what is happening.

But don’t worry.  The plot kicks in finally, and if you just turn off the part of your brain that says “Wow, that is wholly unbelievable,” I think you’ll be surprised by how much you enjoy the next hour and fifteen minutes.  The CGI may be a little cheesy in parts, but when the story starts moving, the characters come together, and you get a few glimpses at some good performances.

And then we get to the big fight scene at the end.  I’m not going to dissect it or analyze every shot for you.  You’ve got better things to do than read that, but I will say that I felt like the ending just really let down all of the good will the previous, middle section, had built up.  It’s trite, predictable and really, just kinda dumb.  I know this is a series of movies, and you probably have to make sacrifices and choices in individual movies for the betterment of the whole series but, come on, Ayer.  You could have done better than this.

I know there are going to be some of you out there who vehemently disagree with me about this one.  It seems like people either love it or hate it.  I have a friend who feels this was one of the best DC universe movies and I have another friend who gave this a 1 out of 10.  I’m in the middle, just a little more positive than negative.  I recommend you give this a shot if you haven’t seen it, and try to keep an open mind.  You may think it’s great.

Or you may hate it.  In which case, I apologize.

6.5 paws out of 10

Executive Suite (1954) [PG]

Executive Suite (1954) PosterNow, Executive Suite

The plot here is deceptively simple.  After the sudden death of the president of a large furniture company, who will replace him?  It is how this plays out that makes the movie (which comes from a novel of the same name by Cameron Hawley) so interesting.

Going into this, you should know that being a movie from the 50’s, this is going to have a bunch of men in high-waisted pants talking quickly and earnestly.  You’re going to want to be prepared for mid-twentieth century gender stereotypes.  But if you can get past that, I think you’ll find an interesting glimpse at what people believed business was about in the 50s. 

While the acting may be a little melodramatic, the performances are top rate.  Particularly William Holden and Nina Foch, the later of which was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 1954 Oscars.  The sets, the costumes, the cinematography . . . it’s all great.  But what really catches my attention are the similarities and differences in how business operated here compared to our movie from last month, Margin Call.  “Collin, nobody cares about your weird anthropological observations.  We want movie reviews.”  For sure.  Trust me when I tell you, this one is pretty darn good.

While it may be melodramatic and a tad dated, I think you’ll find that Executive Suite is still topical and appropriate today.  I would argue that the film is as powerful and energetic as it was over 60 years ago.  The performances are all first rate.  I know this one may not be the type of movie you are used to, but trust your old buddy Collin on this.

8 paws out of 10

As always, if you have a movie you think I should check out or you want to talk further about one of these reviews, drop me a line at collincougar@collin.edu or leave me a message on Facebook.