Jan 18, 2018

Atomic Blonde (2017)

Charlize is stunning and deadly, however the storytelling felt scattered. Soundtrack is a pleasure. Action sequences are intense. One thing I can’t understand. If they could have taken the Ambassador’s car smoothly across the entire time, why didn’t they just use it to get Spyglass across in the first place? That makes everything that transpired pointless!

Rating: C

Life Or Something Like It (2002)

Better than I expected. A little hokey, but not bad.

Rating: C

Arrival (2016)

Arrival reminded me of the Jodi Foster movie Contact. Both were full of drama, emotion, and a confusing plot. Ultimately nothing very exciting happened. Certainly one of the most over-hyped films of the year.

Rating: C-

Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)

I actually did see the original, which is pretty cool, and these two films are very different. I wouldn't call it a remake at all. I appreciated the intensity and high-level of violence. That's what kept me watching, since there wasn't much of a plot. Not bad if you are in the mood for some action.

Rating: C

Freetown (2015)

A low budget Mormon film with wooden acting and a lumbering script. Very little happens. I thought that road trip would never end.

Rating: D-

The Dish (2000)

A less dramatic, Australian version of the historical moon walk. They did a good job of taking an unexciting story and stretching it out into a movie. Kept me awake anyway.

Rating: C

War For The Planet Of The Apes (2017)

Didn’t measure up to the first two as far as plot goes, but the ape characters were on point. It’s quite incredible how much depth and emotion they are able to portray.

Rating: C

It Might Get Loud (2008)

It’s a joy to watch these guys talk so passionately about the thing they love most--the electric guitar. The viewer is also treated to obscure recordings and videos from their past. For music lovers, this documentary is a real treat. Cinematically, it’s not going to blow your socks off.

Rating: C

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

It was nice to pull away from the main Star Wars narrative for a mostly stand-alone film that didn’t require a college level course to keep track of all the characters and space lingo. Sure, much of the acting and dialogue were wooden, as you’d expect in a Lucasfilm production, but the theater experience was still entertaining.

Rating: C

Employee Of The Month (2006)

A few funny parts, but most miss their mark. The plot seemed disjointed, and when they attempted to pull everything together at the end, dozens of plot holes immediately came to mind.

Rating: D+

All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records (2015)

A documentary about Tower Records, but also about the music industry in general. Music lovers that skew a bit older will enjoy this trip down memory lane. Enjoyed seeing the crazy beginnings of such a successful company. Socks aren’t being blown off, but they may sag a little.

Rating: C

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003)

Only a few light chuckles throughout, the rest was almost unwatchable. Really weak and poorly written.

Rating: F

The Big Sick (2017)

Actor comedian Kumail Nanjiani turns his real life story into a heartwarming film. It was honest and funny. Definite comparisons to Aziz Ansari’s show Master Of None. That’s not a bad thing.

Rating: B-

Man Of Steel (2013)

This movie should be called Total Destruction, because it destroys nearly everything on screen. Superman cries out in anguish over killing the main bad guy, not giving a thought to the thousands of people he accidentally snuffed out while fighting said bad guy. So yeah, it’s your typical superhero movie. They did a good job on the backstory though.

Rating: C

Storks (2016)

Geared mostly toward kids, but with a few laughs for adults. I dozed off a couple times while watching with my nieces and nephews.

Rating: C-

Kiss Of The Dragon (2001)

Jet Li was competent enough in his acting to not distract me from the cool fighting sequences. Bridget Fonda reprises her role as La Femme Nikita. Pretty violent overall, so be prepared.

Rating: C

Black Mass (2015)

A compelling performance from Depp. Surprised he wasn’t nominated for it. Gritty crime drama that unfolds slowly and evenly paced. I enjoyed the acting more than the movie.

Rating: C

Good Luck Chuck (2007)

Terribly formulaic and badly scripted. There were a few "chuckles" (pun intended), but mostly a here today, forgotten tomorrow movie.

Rating: D-

Jan 16, 2018

Wonder Woman (2017)

Mildly entertaining. The best bits where during the planning phase in London when character nuances had a chance to surface. But I had a running list of complaints.

  1. Did it not dawn on them that if Ares never returned, they would all die off in a generation’s time, you know, since there were no men around to get them pregnant?
  2. Their home island made use of too much CGI. Might as well have been a cartoon.
  3. Training with real weapons would have surely led to accidental beheadings and dismemberment. Where were all the disfigured chicks who failed warrior academy?
  4. When WW dives into the ocean to save the pilot, she misses certain death on the rocks by a few feet. Does she have sonar? That’s not a dive I see them practicing.
  5. I don’t care how important your mission is. If you wash up on the shore of an island full of sexy Amazon ladies, your new mission is to enjoy every second of the rest of your life.
  6. Did anyone else not feel like this was a direct ripoff of The Truman Show?
  7. One bad guy kills himself with cyanide to avoid giving up secrets whilst the others are knocked out, readily available for questioning. Do they bother? No.
  8. Crossing No Man’s Land she deflects a few bullets with her wrist guards, but then hides behind her shield as the gatling gun starts. Um, how did her legs not get blown to bits?
  9. Why does WW’s sword never have any blood on it?
  10. In the end, it turns out she’s basically invincible, which renders all previous action sequences meaningless. Everything leads up to two “gods” duking it out in a pointless fight.
  11. WW is victorious after she decides love can conquer all. Heavy stuff.

Rating: D+

Let Us Prey (2014)

A dark tale of vengeance that gets increasingly bloody until the end.

Rating: C+