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Archive for the ‘ Movies ’ Category

 

Everything Is (Slightly Less) Awesome

February 10th, 2019

It’s very difficult to be surprised by movies these days. You’ve seen trailers released by major studios that seem to leech most of the drama out of the film they’re promoting. If you go to certain corners of the internet, you can piece together marketing materials, leaked screenplays, and footage and basically get the gist of a film before it’s even playing theatrically. That sucks, so I cherish those moments, particularly in studio blockbusters, when I get blindsided. One of my favorites from 2018 was the last 30 minutes of Avengers: Infinity War. If you haven’t gotten around to seeing... Read More

Moby Dick + Wild Things + The Matrix = WTF

February 3rd, 2019

One of the most valuable things in life is honesty; particularly, the honesty of someone calling out your bad ideas. When someone cares about you on a personal or professional level, they’ll do their level best to pull you back from the brink. I cannot emphasize how important that is, but let me explain with my own idiotic example. I do screenwriting on the side. Years ago, I was batting about script ideas with my writing partners. As we kicked around ideas, I was struck by the Bad Idea Fairy. “Guys, guys, so there were gold reserves in the sub-basements of the Twin Towers. What if, in the... Read More

No Backup

January 27th, 2019

I love seeing actors take risks. Even more so, I love seeing movie stars take risks. It’s not the kind of thing that happens too often because, like criminals, movie stars tend to be a superstitious and cowardly lot. Considering that the era when a matinee icon could guarantee a huge opening for a movie is essentially dead, movie stars are increasingly faced with two choices. They can either retreat into a niche that gets increasingly smaller, or they can adapt. Robin Williams was an early adopter of adaptation. For those of you too young to remember, Williams was a hyperactive stand-up comedian... Read More

A Million Shattered Pieces

January 20th, 2019

Movies aren’t for everyone, though people think they are. A bunch of years ago, my wife and I caught the very good film Adaptation in the theaters. If it’s been a minute since you’ve seen or thought about it, Adaptation is about a lonely screenwriter struggling to adapt a book about an orchid thief. It’s got strong performances by Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep, and a great deal to say about the creative process. Joining us in our cinematic excursion was an Unnamed Member Of Our Extended Family. He’s a great guy, but the film tastes of the aforementioned UMOOEF, as he will be known going... Read More

Make It Stop

January 13th, 2019
Keanu Reeves in Replicas

I kind of hate January. There, I said it. Yes, it’s the first month of a new year, and it represents a new start and new possibilities and blah blah blah. After the warmth of the holiday season, January is cold, bleak, bereft of life. The main reason I hate January, though? It’s the month where movies go to die. For the most part, certain times of the year correspond with certain movies. Summer is for big blockbusters. Late fall is when then Academy Award hopefuls are rolled out. January is the dumping ground of the studios. People are going back to work or back to school, and there generally... Read More

The Glass Between Their Love

January 6th, 2019

On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile died tragically and pointlessly. Officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled Castile over during a traffic stop. Later, Yanez claimed Castile was pulled over because he looked like the suspect in a robbery. In the car with Castile was his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds. Her four-year-old daughter was in the back seat. As Yanez asked Castile to produce his license and insurance, Castile informed the police officer that he had a licensed firearm in his possession. At this point, Officer Yanez panicked. He raised his voice, unholstered his firearm, and fired at Philando Castile seven... Read More

The Angler – Local Movie Reviewer Gives Opinions on Vice

December 30th, 2018
Vice

There are a lot of people extremely angry at Adam McKay’s new film Vice. It’s not surprising, considering the film a) is about some of the most well-known people in recent history and b) is political. If you’re reading this, you probably have an opinion about Vice-President Richard Cheney, whether you think he was a tough government operator who did what was necessary, or you think he was a major player in Hell’s demonic hierarchy. The political aspects make things even trickier. We’ve talked before about how at this moment in history, virtually everything is polarized. One of the problems... Read More

Swimming Upstream – Local Movie Reviewer Splashes with Aquaman

December 23rd, 2018
Aquaman

Poor Aquaman. Ask any kid, any comic aficionado, any pop culture enthusiast who their favorite superhero is. Batman will come up a lot, Spider-Man and Wolverine will certainly get mentioned, even Black Panther and The Flash will get some love*. But the King of Atlantis? Eh…not so much. Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger created the character for DC Comics way back in 1941, and he languished in obscurity until the era of Saturday morning cartoons in the 1960s. From that point on, Aquaman became a joke. You could tell people all day long that he was immensely powerful, due to an ability to withstand... Read More

The Road Better Off Not Taken

December 16th, 2018
The Mule

As much as I love Unforgiven, In the Line of Fire, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and Dirty Harry, I think my favorite Clint Eastwood film is Escape from Alcatraz. As bank robber Frank Morris, you can see him plotting a way off the famed prison from the very first scenes of the film. Eastwood’s Morris is taciturn, intelligent, and does not suffer fools gladly.* Clint Eastwood casts a long shadow. He’s been in the entertainment industry since 1955, and he has 72 acting credits and 40 directorial credits. At age 88, he keeps at it, releasing a film or two every few years. He’s made some... Read More

Anyone Can Be Under the Mask – Local Movie Reviewer Takes a Ride Through the Spider-Verse

December 9th, 2018
spider-man: into the spider-verse

Just imagine it. You step up to the corner of the skyscraper. You look down through the plastic lenses of your mask — and down is a long way down. But who cares? It’s a beautiful spring day, the sun is out, and you’re in New York City. So you step off into space, gravity catches you, and you’re cannonballing toward the ground. Lazily, you stretch your right arm out, aim, and double-tap your web shooters. The webline streams out and adheres to a wall. The line goes taut, but you’re holding on as you swing in a tight parabola. Then you let go, pull a pretty slick backflip, and momentum... Read More