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Cam Bert

Episode 246 - Swordfish: LIVE!

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On 8/17/2020 at 6:14 AM, Cam Bert said:

Cage, Travolta, John Cusack and Bruce Willis are the Mt. Rushmore of direct to video movies of the 2000s. 

Out of all of those John Cusack has to be the weakest in the bunch. Cage and Travolta are both capable of turning in interesting performances in otherwise dull movies. Bruce Willis still has the ability to convey some level of charm or charisma even when he's in something he clearly doesnt give a shit about.

John Cusack was in some movie where he played a contract killer or something with Thomas Jane, and it was midway through when I realized that John Cusack has never really been good in anything and it blew my mind that someone as boring as he is onscreen managed to have such a solid career for as long as he did. 

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11 hours ago, Ofcoursemyhorse said:

Out of all of those John Cusack has to be the weakest in the bunch. Cage and Travolta are both capable of turning in interesting performances in otherwise dull movies. Bruce Willis still has the ability to convey some level of charm or charisma even when he's in something he clearly doesnt give a shit about.

John Cusack was in some movie where he played a contract killer or something with Thomas Jane, and it was midway through when I realized that John Cusack has never really been good in anything and it blew my mind that someone as boring as he is onscreen managed to have such a solid career for as long as he did. 

I would say that Travolta and Cage always without fail give something 110%. Even if the movie is not worth it, they give it their all. Sure the movie is horseshit but that is never the fault of their own. 

I think Willis is slipping into that Cusack territory. Some of these movies he's just sleep walking through, or clearly he showed up and was like "You got me for a day, I will not do reshoots, I will not do ADR and I will not get out of a chair." When it's a more studio movie he tries but clearly he knows what films are being dumped and you can tell. Cusack I agree I don't think has tried since.... Being John Malkovich? I will admit I am a fan of his 80s comedies. I like Better of Dead and I liked Say Anything...  but I think that was the extent of it. I think that's also part of the problem. He kinda got into his mind set that's who he was and has the ego as if this was still 1989.  He's gotten older and more bitter and just gave up. Not charming, not talented, just flat and one note.

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1 hour ago, Cam Bert said:

I would say that Travolta and Cage always without fail give something 110%. Even if the movie is not worth it, they give it their all. Sure the movie is horseshit but that is never the fault of their own. 

I think Willis is slipping into that Cusack territory. Some of these movies he's just sleep walking through, or clearly he showed up and was like "You got me for a day, I will not do reshoots, I will not do ADR and I will not get out of a chair." When it's a more studio movie he tries but clearly he knows what films are being dumped and you can tell. Cusack I agree I don't think has tried since.... Being John Malkovich? I will admit I am a fan of his 80s comedies. I like Better of Dead and I liked Say Anything...  but I think that was the extent of it. I think that's also part of the problem. He kinda got into his mind set that's who he was and has the ego as if this was still 1989.  He's gotten older and more bitter and just gave up. Not charming, not talented, just flat and one note.

Yeah, it's been sad to see a guy who seemed so promising basically become the role he played in High Fidelity, which is his last good movie by my reckoning. I loved Better Off Dead and Say Anything... too, and liked the stuff he was doing with his pals Tim Robbins and Jack Black, like Tapeheads and Bob Roberts (and, I guess, High Fidelity again). Somewhere along the line he probably should have fired his agent, because unlike his sister Joan who has made a good career out of wacky character roles, John seems to have spent the last ~20 years wobbling between roguish leading man in forgettable romcoms and sinister bad guy in forgettable action films.

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I've enjoyed Cusack in various things over the last 20 years like Con Air, Grosse Pointe Blank, and even Identity, but it seems like whenever a pitch is brought to him he's told the character that he'd be playing along with motivations and emotions behind them and his only response every time is "and he's on quaaludes right?" As for Willis, I've said in this forum before that the only time he's really tried in the last 15 years were in movies that either had Red or Die Hard in the title, and everything else he just phoned in. Looper is the one outlier as it does come off as a genuine performance from him but after the fallout from Cop Out and how he was canned from The Expendables 3, he's been almost completely straight-to-video, which is kind of sad considering he was a top leading man for the prior 25 years. Hell even when he gets a theatrical release it's like he can't remember how to do it, as in Death Wish he was basically mugging and laughing into the camera when his character is supposed to be a depressed vigilante hunting the people who killed his family members.

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Yea I think my biggest issue with Cusack is that Better off Dead was a couple years before my time. I actually saw One Crazy Summer more than a handful of times and I think thats my favorite Cusack movie. And thats only in spite of him and definitely not because of him. 

Serendipity was the movie that really made me wonder just how in the hell he was considered such a go to romantic lead for as long as he was. High Fidelity just makes me angry to think about, the notion that someone as cool as Lisa Bonet is playing in the movie finding themselves attracted to Cusack's character is legit one of the biggest stretches of the imagination a movie has asked of me. 

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In regards to Bruce Willis. How fucking insane is it to think how non-existent his career would be if he was a young actor today trying to make it as an action star. The thought that someone who even at the peak of his career could best be described as having a somewhat fit dad body, and questionable hair line making it as a leading man today seems almost impossible. 

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23 hours ago, Ofcoursemyhorse said:

Out of all of those John Cusack has to be the weakest in the bunch. Cage and Travolta are both capable of turning in interesting performances in otherwise dull movies. Bruce Willis still has the ability to convey some level of charm or charisma even when he's in something he clearly doesnt give a shit about.

John Cusack was in some movie where he played a contract killer or something with Thomas Jane, and it was midway through when I realized that John Cusack has never really been good in anything and it blew my mind that someone as boring as he is onscreen managed to have such a solid career for as long as he did. 

But as mentioned on this podcast he is the one Danny Trejo fears most. Plus he's related to the superior Cusack Joan. And not to toot my pop punk past but he has a pretty decent Fall Out Boy song written after him... Like that first album of their's was really good and I cannot stress how much I miss their original sound but I'm getting off topic. 

Does this make him a good actor? No but it DOES make him vaguely interesting. 

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On 8/16/2020 at 5:52 PM, JeffreyMcDonald said:

Has John Travolta silently snuck his way into becoming the new Nick Cage? 
Considering some of his roles that I've seen recently...I'm kind of enjoying the unbridled insanity.

And what is his most unfortunate facial hair + head hair combination?

  • Battlefield Earth
  • Swordfish
  • Killing Season
  • The Fanatic
  • something else?
     

 

trav3.PNG

This is  UPSETTING. i just ate McDonald's I already don't feel good. I feel UNWELL now.

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On 8/17/2020 at 9:59 AM, DrGuts1003 said:

I know pre-9/11 airport security wasn’t as stringent as it is today, but how dumb do you have to be to leave your real passport easily found in your luggage?  Is it possible the Finnish hacker wanted to get caught so he didn’t have to get involved with Travolta’s insane antics?

100%! And in a special pocket!!! Why would you even bring your real passport?!? It's the equivalent of "Oh I can't come out to play my mom says I'm grounded"

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47 minutes ago, gigi-tastic said:

But as mentioned on this podcast he is the one Danny Trejo fears most. Plus he's related to the superior Cusack Joan. And not to toot my pop punk past but he has a pretty decent Fall Out Boy song written after him... Like that first album of their's was really good and I cannot stress how much I miss their original sound but I'm getting off topic. 

Does this make him a good actor? No but it DOES make him vaguely interesting. 

I think he's a long time martial arts enthusiast. Combine that with reports that he's apparently kind of a dick in real life and it paints a picture of a dude who would really appreciate an opportunity to use it. 

Joan Cusack is wonderful in everything the only thing I resent about her was her selfishly absorbing all of the acting talent in the family. She's always had plenty to share and lord knows John is in need of it. 

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1 hour ago, Ofcoursemyhorse said:

In regards to Bruce Willis. How fucking insane is it to think how non-existent his career would be if he was a young actor today trying to make it as an action star. The thought that someone who even at the peak of his career could best be described as having a somewhat fit dad body, and questionable hair line making it as a leading man today seems almost impossible. 

It reminds me of the various jokes Family Guy did about old tough guys like Robert Mitchum and Joe Pesci and how antiquated they would be in modern definition of the term. While Willis wasn't what Steven Segal would become in the 90s in terms of body type, he had the unfortunate fact of being an action star in the time of Arnold, Stallone, Lundgren, Van Dam, and even Gibson. His saving grace was similar to Gibson in that they had legit acting abilities and were allowed to showcase them, while guys like Stallone and Arnold have only been able to really do so now in some of their more recent roles. Unfortunately the crossover success in an action star who could actually act was he gained an ego from it which has utterly ruined him for the last 15 years. Especially in a time when action stars now are usually leaner or muscular but not exaggerated like the stars of the 80s, a guy like Willis would be either a parody character or he'd be that guy you see on the cover a bunch of C-grade action DVDs that you kinda recognize but never really remember.

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48 minutes ago, RyanSz said:

It reminds me of the various jokes Family Guy did about old tough guys like Robert Mitchum and Joe Pesci and how antiquated they would be in modern definition of the term. While Willis wasn't what Steven Segal would become in the 90s in terms of body type, he had the unfortunate fact of being an action star in the time of Arnold, Stallone, Lundgren, Van Dam, and even Gibson. His saving grace was similar to Gibson in that they had legit acting abilities and were allowed to showcase them, while guys like Stallone and Arnold have only been able to really do so now in some of their more recent roles. Unfortunately the crossover success in an action star who could actually act was he gained an ego from it which has utterly ruined him for the last 15 years. Especially in a time when action stars now are usually leaner or muscular but not exaggerated like the stars of the 80s, a guy like Willis would be either a parody character or he'd be that guy you see on the cover a bunch of C-grade action DVDs that you kinda recognize but never really remember.

I think Gibson and Willis are pretty similar in regards to the class of roles they were being cast in. Where they were generally cast as characters who were usually more everyday average types thrust into extreme circumstances. 

Schwarzenegger, Lundgren, Van Damme and Stallone were in kind generally cast in roles where they are mega-cops. Even in something in like Kindergarten Cop, Schwarzenegger has that opening scene in the nightclub.

The funniest thing to me is how Steven Seagal clearly sees himself as belonging in the same class as Schwarzenegger, Stallone etc... when he is much more similar to Bruce Willis in terms of his physique even in the best of times, and equally questionable hairline. 

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8 hours ago, Ofcoursemyhorse said:

I think Gibson and Willis are pretty similar in regards to the class of roles they were being cast in. Where they were generally cast as characters who were usually more everyday average types thrust into extreme circumstances. 

Schwarzenegger, Lundgren, Van Damme and Stallone were in kind generally cast in roles where they are mega-cops. Even in something in like Kindergarten Cop, Schwarzenegger has that opening scene in the nightclub.

The funniest thing to me is how Steven Seagal clearly sees himself as belonging in the same class as Schwarzenegger, Stallone etc... when he is much more similar to Bruce Willis in terms of his physique even in the best of times, and equally questionable hairline. 

Yeah Seagal even at his peak of Hard To Kill and Under Siege was fit in the way a doughy guy went to the gym a couple days a week a few weeks before they started shooting, and while he could stand out in that he had skill as a martial artist, his acting was probably the worst of the group. Then you look at his career since On Deadly Ground/Fire Down Below and it's clear he took a page out of Marlon Brando's book and thought "I can still do movies and just sit down for everything," not realizing that as an action star that that really isn't a viable option. Also when I just looked at his IMDB I saw that for some reason and some how they are making a sequel 30 years later to Above the Law which is mind boggling as it's not his biggest movie and he is nowhere near the shape he was in when he did that movie back in 88.

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16 hours ago, RyanSz said:

I've enjoyed Cusack in various things over the last 20 years like Con Air, Grosse Pointe Blank, and even Identity, but it seems like whenever a pitch is brought to him he's told the character that he'd be playing along with motivations and emotions behind them and his only response every time is "and he's on quaaludes right?" As for Willis, I've said in this forum before that the only time he's really tried in the last 15 years were in movies that either had Red or Die Hard in the title, and everything else he just phoned in. Looper is the one outlier as it does come off as a genuine performance from him but after the fallout from Cop Out and how he was canned from The Expendables 2, he's been almost completely straight-to-video, which is kind of sad considering he was a top leading man for the prior 25 years. Hell even when he gets a theatrical release it's like he can't remember how to do it, as in Death Wish he was basically mugging and laughing into the camera when his character is supposed to be a depressed vigilante hunting the people who killed his family members.

I just watched that remake of Death Wish and while I would say I enjoyed it more than the original, which wouldn't be hard, it is certainly not great. It felt like Willis was perplexed in the same way the audience was about why this film was being remade in 2020. It's yet another film (after that weird revenge-against-women picture he did with Keanu Reeves) where I wonder what the hell Eli Roth is thinking these days.

Willis is frustrating. He has been in some really good indie/nontraditional action films like 12 Monkeys and Unbreakable and obviously he enjoys being this generation's John Wayne when the script calls for an elder statesman figure. Otherwise he seems to be caught up in his generation's straight-to-streaming crapshoot along with people like Pierce Brosnan.

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6 hours ago, theworstbuddhist said:

I just watched that remake of Death Wish and while I would say I enjoyed it more than the original, which wouldn't be hard, it is certainly not great. It felt like Willis was perplexed in the same way the audience was about why this film was being remade in 2020. It's yet another film (after that weird revenge-against-women picture he did with Keanu Reeves) where I wonder what the hell Eli Roth is thinking these day

Willis is frustrating. He has been in some really good indie/nontraditional action films like 12 Monkeys and Unbreakable and obviously he enjoys being this generation's John Wayne when the script calls for an elder statesman figure. Otherwise he seems to be caught up in his generation's straight-to-streaming crapshoot along with people like Pierce Brosnan.

The original Death Wish worked in that it grounded itself in the reality of the times where there was a large uptick in crime around the country, especially in metropolitan areas like New York City where the film is set and while the film and its eventual sequels embraced the vigilante violence, the book it was based on had the theme of it being completely wrong and to let proper criminal justice work. Willis' version started off on the wrong foot from the first trailer, which went from him looking kind of depressed after his family is attacked, to blaring "Back In Black" by AC/DC and him popping of one-liners and laughing with his therapist while he's a trap setting crime fighter at night with zero training or prep, creating the wrong kind of tone to associate with the movie.

I have to assume his firing from Expendables 3 was what soured him for a lot of the bigger studios as after that happened, the only movies that he was in that went to theaters were either sequels to movies he had done (Sin City 2, Split & Glass), a tiny cameo in the second Lego Movie, Rock the Kasbah, Motherless Brooklyn, and Death Wish, with Death Wish being the only non-sequel he was the lead in. Outside of those he's done SEVENTEEN movies that are direct-to-home, four of which are set to come out soon. And it is unfortunate as you're right he is great in a mentor/elder statesman role, but his reputation for standing in the way of himself these last few years has really brought him down to doing some utterly horrible movies.

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6 hours ago, RyanSz said:

The original Death Wish worked in that it grounded itself in the reality of the times where there was a large uptick in crime around the country, especially in metropolitan areas like New York City where the film is set and while the film and its eventual sequels embraced the vigilante violence, the book it was based on had the theme of it being completely wrong and to let proper criminal justice work. Willis' version started off on the wrong foot from the first trailer, which went from him looking kind of depressed after his family is attacked, to blaring "Back In Black" by AC/DC and him popping of one-liners and laughing with his therapist while he's a trap setting crime fighter at night with zero training or prep, creating the wrong kind of tone to associate with the movie.

I have to assume his firing from Expendables 3 was what soured him for a lot of the bigger studios as after that happened, the only movies that he was in that went to theaters were either sequels to movies he had done (Sin City 2, Split & Glass), a tiny cameo in the second Lego Movie, Rock the Kasbah, Motherless Brooklyn, and Death Wish, with Death Wish being the only non-sequel he was the lead in. Outside of those he's done SEVENTEEN movies that are direct-to-home, four of which are set to come out soon. And it is unfortunate as you're right he is great in a mentor/elder statesman role, but his reputation for standing in the way of himself these last few years has really brought him down to doing some utterly horrible movies.

Yea the last full leading role movie I saw him in was Cop Out which he was famously a dick on set for. Which is a shame because the movie definitely suffered because of it, it had its issues but alot of them could have been saved by him just saying fuck it and shooting for the moon and having a good time. 

It's a shame he's so close-minded, he's a talented dude who could easily have a solid run on t.v. At the very least he would stand a much greater chance at doing something better than the straight to dvd stuff he's been doing for years. 

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29 minutes ago, Ofcoursemyhorse said:

Yea the last full leading role movie I saw him in was Cop Out which he was famously a dick on set for. Which is a shame because the movie definitely suffered because of it, it had its issues but alot of them could have been saved by him just saying fuck it and shooting for the moon and having a good time. 

It's a shame he's so close-minded, he's a talented dude who could easily have a solid run on t.v. At the very least he would stand a much greater chance at doing something better than the straight to dvd stuff he's been doing for years. 

Oh he could easily pull an Alec Balwdin and have a career revival with the right show, doesn't matter if it's a comedy or a drama. Him in a show akin to Breaking Bad or Ozark could be fantastic especially with how he's done those types of roles in the past. The Cop Out situation was an additional bummer in that basically everyone else involved wanted to do the movie because of his involvement and he was a shit about the whole thing. Kevin Smith at least took a good bit of credit in that movie's failure but listening to him discuss how elated he felt to know Willis was on board for the movie after the great time they had working together on Live Free or Die Hard, only for Willis to do a complete 180, along with how the whole ordeal impacted Smith where he was mentally at the time, is just another one of those examples of never meeting you're heroes because you'll just be disappointed.

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Yea its a special kind of terrible to accept a role and then spend all your time on set being resentful towards everyone for his decision to take a job he felt was "beneath him" Bear in mind this is after starring in a movie about the government trying to murder a severely autistic child for being good at puzzles. 

 

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On 8/16/2020 at 9:21 AM, Cam Bert said:

Okay I want to talk a little bit about Stanley Jobson's FBI profile we see. So when The Lone Gunman are talking about him his profile pops up on screen. Here is a screen shot of it.

92BUIjk.jpg

It's hard to read but here is what it says that I have questions about.

"PLACE OF BIRTH  DRIPPING SPRINGS

HEIGHT 6'2"

WEIGHT 185

BUILD LEAN

SCARS AND MARKS  RIGHT SHOULDER 7" CUT"

So as we all recall the opening shot is of Hugh Jackman shirtless hitting golf balls from his trailer. We all get a very good look at his upper body. Are there any note worthy scars or marks? Well he has a very bizarre tattoo that goes across his left shoulder. What about his right shoulder? Nope that looks perfectly fine and nice. So where is this 7" cut they are talking about? The tattoo he could have gotten after prison and therefore not on his file but if he had such a large cut on his shoulder that they had to make note of it why is it not visible two years later? That is unless of course we all assume this is some sort of penis reference. Yes I went there and I am sorry.

That's funny! Dripping Springs is a real town. It's just outside of Austin Texas.

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10 hours ago, Ofcoursemyhorse said:

Yea its a special kind of terrible to accept a role and then spend all your time on set being resentful towards everyone for his decision to take a job he felt was "beneath him" Bear in mind this is after starring in a movie about the government trying to murder a severely autistic child for being good at puzzles. 

 

Well to be fair they wouldn't have tried to kill him if it weren't for the dipshit analyst's putting the secret code and phone number for the black bag operation they were working for in a magazine puzzle for shits and giggles. The fact that this code is a McGuffin so important that a top NSA agent would try to murder a child in full view of a team of FBI agents and civilians is all the more infuriating.

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On 8/19/2020 at 6:17 PM, Ofcoursemyhorse said:

the notion that someone as cool as Lisa Bonet is playing in the movie finding themselves attracted to Cusack's character is legit one of the biggest stretches of the imagination a movie has asked of me. 

Yeah I want to co-sign this, and I actually like that movie (overall). His character in that movie sucks and should be ashamed of himself.

I guess I still have a soft spot for Grosse Point Blank though, never really stopped to think about Cusack's actual performance there (it's been a while).

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2 hours ago, Fast B said:

Yeah I want to co-sign this, and I actually like that movie (overall). His character in that movie sucks and should be ashamed of himself.

I don't think we are really meant to like Rob considering how shitty he is to everyone in his past and present. I call this kind of movie the "coming of middle age" film, where a guy in his thirties (more or less) grows up just enough to make an important change in his life.

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5 hours ago, theworstbuddhist said:

I don't think we are really meant to like Rob considering how shitty he is to everyone in his past and present. I call this kind of movie the "coming of middle age" film, where a guy in his thirties (more or less) grows up just enough to make an important change in his life.

I think we are though, or at the very least we're meant to empathize with him. Throughout the movie he doesnt really suffer any consequences for his behavior. I mean with the third act he has not only managed to get his ex-girlfriend back, but also gains the attention of Lisa Bonet. 

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For reasons I still do not know, I had a copy of the Swordfish soundtrack on CD and the entire soundtrack is done by Paul Oakenfold, the techno guy.

From what I recall it was not very good, maybe the lapdance song is good, the rest is forgettable. Just an odd memory from my high school or college days, wonder if I still have it somewhere.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swordfish_(soundtrack)

Swordfish_The_Album_Cover.jpg

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