Justice League is Dark, Gritty & Beautiful to Watch. Thank You For Your Fan Service (Review)

Justice League is Dark, Gritty & Beautiful to Watch. Thank You For Your Fan Service (Review)

Hot on the heels of Thor: Ragnarok comes the DC superhero movie: Justice League.  I’m not sure when this happened, but at some point I think I started liking Marvel better than DC.  Marvel’s just so charismatic, like the boyfriend all your friends like, he’s smart, he’s funny, goofy but lovable and always ‘on’.  Whereas DC is the guy who is has a nice job, a nice car, takes himself way too seriously but has an amazing set of abs because he spends all his time at the gym.  They’re both great in their own ways and both pretend the other doesn’t exist and this week it was DC’s turn for my attentions.  This review is completely spoiler free, except for the part about the horse. Read more

Murder on The Orient Express is a Gorgeous & Loving Homage to The Golden Age of Detective Stories (Review)

Murder on The Orient Express is a Gorgeous & Loving Homage to The Golden Age of Detective Stories (Review)

This week it was either Daddy’s Home 2 or Murder on the Orient Express, a choice that pit Mark Wahlberg against Dame Judi Dench for my attentions.  You might think that choice would be obvious and had Mr. Wahlberg worn something sleeveless in the trailer, I would have been helpless.  But as it happened, Daddy’s Home 2 is a Christmas film, all sweaters and snowsuits, so it’s off to Murder on the Orient Express for me.  I’d rather watch Kenneth Branagh than Mel Gibson anyway. Read more

Thor: Ragnarok is Another Predictable Marvel Movie But It’s Still Amazing (Review)

Thor: Ragnarok is Another Predictable Marvel Movie But It’s Still Amazing (Review)

Man, am I ever done with Superhero movies.  I’m not sure when it happened, probably before Spiderman and Wonder Woman, before Guardians of the Galaxy 2; all I know is that superhero movies don’t fill me with girlish delight like they used to.   Still, I was looking forward to it – this was directed by the man who gave us “What We Do In The Shadows” and “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” so I was expecting Thor: Ragnarok to be something amazing.  And it was.  It really was. Read more

Suburbicon is Pointless & Uncomfortable Failing to Deliver Anything of Value (Review)

Suburbicon is Pointless & Uncomfortable Failing to Deliver Anything of Value (Review)

It’s funny how much the Galaxy pre-show can inform a review.  Not only do we get trailers, we get to watch people talk about the movies they made.  I’m not sure why, but when I saw George Clooney talking about Suburbicon, I knew it was going to be a stinker.  The low reviews were no surprise.  I wasn’t going to see Suburbicon to see if it was good or not, I was going to see why it was bad.  Maybe I was hoping it turned out, against all expectation, to be awesome.  It wasn’t, I hated it.   The rest of the review is going to be why I hated it.  If you’re planning on seeing this movie, stop right and don’t read any further.  I’m going to spoil everything.   Read more

Geostorm is a Well Executed Disaster Movie if You Can Suspend Your Disbelief (Review)

Geostorm is a Well Executed Disaster Movie if You Can Suspend Your Disbelief (Review)

Picture this: a group of people in a board room, brainstorming a new action movie for 2017.  Someone mentions ‘Volcano’ or ‘Twister’ and they all agree that Natural Disaster movies are awesome, but what natural disaster can they used this time?   Haven’t they all been done?  There’s even a Tsunami movie.  Then some smart guy says ‘why don’t we do all of them?’  There’s a pause while everyone considers the possibility of having a disaster movie with ALL natural disasters.  This, my friends, is how Geostorm got made; I’m certain of it.  This movie looked ridiculous from the trailer and I found myself bracing for what could be a terrible action thriller. Read more

Happy Death Day: Unapologetically a Groundhog Day Remake, Now With Teens! (Review)

Happy Death Day: Unapologetically a Groundhog Day Remake, Now With Teens! (Review)

I think I must have heard about Happy Death Day before I saw it.  And I’m pretty sure I scoffed and forgot about it.  Make Groundhog Day into a horror film?  I had only one question: why?  Why would you do that?  How did this get made?  Groundhog Day is a classic and absolutely perfect the way it was.   Anything even similar to it would immediately look like a rip-off.  Is there, under any circumstances, the possibility that Happy Day can redeem itself? I went into this film expecting to tear it apart. Read more

Blade Runner 2049 is a Sequel So Good it Makes The Original Better (Review)

Blade Runner 2049 is a Sequel So Good it Makes The Original Better (Review)

This was in my top 5 most anticipated movies of 2017.   I could not wait to see it.  I discovered the original Blade Runner in my teens and loved it with that special love that hipsters have for their underappreciated favorites.  There was a lot riding on this sequel.  The trailers looked mouthwatering and I was all in for the crazy hype.  It isn’t easy to write a sequel, particularly for an older film whose fans loved it as much as I did.  Would Denis Villeneuve deliver like he did on Sicario and Arrival?  Or would this be another over-hyped cash grab? Read more

Flatliners is Half-Assed Horror Hoping to Coast By on Deceptive Marketing (Review)

Flatliners is Half-Assed Horror Hoping to Coast By on Deceptive Marketing (Review)

I’ve been looking forward to Flatliners.  I loved the original film so much that I was hoping against hope that it would be amazing.  But signs were bad.  Remakes of cool movies from the 80s and 90s don’t have a great track record (remember the Total Recall remake? ‘Cause I sure don’t).   Also Flatliners didn’t have a rating on Rotten Tomatoes when I looked.  I’m guessing there was a review moratorium – bad films prevent bad reviews in hopes of drawing numbers that they don’t deserve.  IMDB gives a writing credit was to Peter Filardi, who wrote the original, but that was just for the story. The actual screenplay was by Ben Ripley, the man who gave us Species III. Read more

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a Summer Blockbuster in September (Review)

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a Summer Blockbuster in September (Review)

I’ve been looking forward to seeing Kingsman: The Golden Circle since I first saw the trailer for it.   Could it live up to the first Kingsman? Hard to say, but Channing Tatum as a cowboy is reason enough to get me to see anything.  The very idea leaves me a little out breath.  Kingsman: TGC knew exactly what it wanted to be; it has a formula and that formula was followed.  And to good effect:  even at an 2 hours, 21 minutes, Kingsman: TGC did not feel too long. Read more

Mother! A Strange, Demanding Trip and Well Worth It (Review)

Mother! A Strange, Demanding Trip and Well Worth It (Review)

It’s hard to talk about a film like Mother! without feeling like you’re giving something away.  I’m going to try to avoid spoilers here (not that I think Mother! really CAN be spoiled) but this film is so specific yet ambiguous that any discussion might color your perceptions going in.  If you’re planning on seeing this and want the very full experience, don’t read this review, just go see the film.  THEN read it and see if you agree.  Me, I had been warned going in – this is a weird weird film.  Personally I liked it but the other people in the theater did not; I  definitely heard some grumbling from the other patrons as I left. Read more

IT: A lesson in What Real Horror is. Terrifying from Beginning to End (Review)

IT: A lesson in What Real Horror is. Terrifying from Beginning to End (Review)

I’ve been waiting to see It for a long time.  This was my first exposure to It, I hadn’t read the book or seen the Tim Curry miniseries (I know, shame on me) so I really have nothing to compare it to.  Let me tell you – it lives up to the hype.  It is legitimately terrifying in so many different ways.  And it’s not just killer clown monsters, either.  There are psychotic bullies and horrible adults too.  Those kids can’t catch a break.

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard is Possibly The Best Action Comedy of The Year (Review)

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is Possibly The Best Action Comedy of The Year (Review)

This week it’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard. There was a bit of hype for this one, seems like I saw the trailer to the Hitman’s Bodyguard before every other movie for two months, regardless of genre.  That could be an overstatement but not by much.  I was pretty sure I’d like this one, Action/Comedy if a forgiving genre.  Even when it’s bad it’s still pretty good.  And this one was pretty good, I laughed so much.   Read more

Annabelle Creation is Terrifying: Well-Executed Horror That Hits All The Right Notes (Review)

Annabelle Creation is Terrifying: Well-Executed Horror That Hits All The Right Notes (Review)

This week my movie is Annabelle: Creation.  There’s been a dearth of horror films lately, particularly good horror films, so I had some high hopes going in.  There were lots of jump scares.  Normally I would say this is a bad thing, horror films that rely on jump scares to get their audience are usually pretty lame.  But this may be the first horror film I’ve seen that used them well.  You knew there were jump scares coming and it was that tension that made things well.  This film used every trick:  footsteps, the dark, point-of-view (where you can see something behind the character but they don’t know it’s there) and most of all my favorite, The Uncanny Valley.   Read more

The Dark Tower is a Strange Mix of Formulaic Tropes & Refreshingly Original Concepts with a Solid Execution (Review)

The Dark Tower is a Strange Mix of Formulaic Tropes & Refreshingly Original Concepts with a Solid Execution (Review)

This week it’s The Dark Tower, one of the new batch of Stephen King adaptations heading our way.  I was looking forward to this one. Though I stopped reading him before the Dark Tower books came out, I’ve always had a fondness for King.  And there was something about this film.  Usually it’s easy to watch movies with a critical eye and keep a list of strong points and weak points throughout.  But when I got to the end of The Dark Tower, I realised I hadn’t been paying attention to that at all.  I had been completely immersed. That’s usually a good sign. Read more