COLOSSAL (2017) Reaches the Height of High-Concept

If nothing else, you’ve got to love the gusto of a movie like Colossal, which tells the story of Gloria (Anne Hathaway), a woman who discovers that when she stands in a playground in her hometown at 8:05am, she causes a kaiju to appear in Seoul, South Korea that mimics her every move. Really, that this premise is handled at least competently, alone deserves however much (probably too much) you’re paying to see this movie. As a bonus, Colossal is an incredibly well made film that also tells a realistically portrayed story of an abusive relationship caused by male entitlement, and shows a woman who gathers the strength to beat it. Continue reading “COLOSSAL (2017) Reaches the Height of High-Concept”

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THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER (2015/2017; Original Title: FEBRUARY) is Horror From Another Era

I’ll admit, The Blackcoat’s Daughter didn’t entirely click for me until the first on-screen murder. I was already won over by the movie’s incredible atmosphere, its ever present sense of dread lurking just out of shot, the impeccable use of sound, the way that every character felt just a bit off, and the uncanny mundanity of the setting. But it wasn’t until that first murder, a stabbing that cuts from a dutch angle of the killer holding the knife to a shot of the knife plunging into the victim’s back that I realized what it was all in service of. Continue reading “THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER (2015/2017; Original Title: FEBRUARY) is Horror From Another Era”

LOGAN (2017): Children of X-Men

What do you get when you strip Wolverine down to his core? Besides an adamantium skeleton, you get a man who has lived too long a life and outlived everyone he ever cared about. You get a man who became the best at what he did, in spite of it not being a very nice thing, and has lived long enough for it all to haunt him. You get a man who searched his whole, long life for something worth dying for, only for death to sneak up on him slowly, and after he has nothing left to fight for. Logan is the best X-Men movie by a mile, and that’s because it’s a full reflection of the character who endured despite the middling-to-awful quality of most of the movies he’s starred in. And true to character, everyone in this movie is broken, no good deed goes unpunished, characters die without ceremony, and it keeps on going until it just can’t anymore.

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JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 (2017) – The Dog Lives. Everyone Else, Not So Much…

In so many ways, John Wick was lightning in a bottle. A budget studio picture helmed by two stuntmen-turned-writer/directors and a 50 year old action star that turned out to be the sleeper hit of 2014 thanks to untouchable action sequences, a surprisingly fleshed out world, neon-noir tone, and just enough humor to tie it all together.

Chapter 2 takes that bottle, smashes it on the ground, uses a shard from it to stab a guy coming up from behind, steals that guy’s gun to shoot two more guys, and then proudly states that it’s back.

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HIDDEN FIGURES (2016) Shows America is at its Best When it Values Diversity

This could just be my reaction to the current political climate, but has America ever shined brighter than during the Space Race? Ignoring of course the climate that the civil rights movement pushed back against, and the cold war struggles epitomized by Vietnam (there’s always history to ignore when highlighting greatness); has any country on the planet produced any image as inspiring as a man walking on the moon? A single man, representing all of humanity, finally planting his foot in the heavens; watched and rooted for by every other person – regardless of nationality, religion, race, gender, creed, or culture. That truly is representative of America at its best.

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THE BIG SHORT (2015) is a Reminder that Not all Disaster Movies are Fiction

Most disaster stories follow a pretty simple formula: 1. An expert discovers that the safety of the entire world is balanced very precariously. 2. The expert brings this information to the people who can prevent the upcoming disaster, but they ignore/laugh them out of the room. 3. Undaunted, the expert starts preparing for disaster, building an arc for anyone who believes them to ride the oncoming storm out on. 4. The disaster strikes, swallowing everybody who doubted the expert, who is forced to rebuild should there be anything left.

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WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX? (2010) Transcends

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Who Killed Captain Alex? is a miracle, no two ways about it, and that makes it almost unreviewable, at least by me. Originating from Ugandan director Nabwana Isaac Godfrey Geoffry’s “Wakaliwood” production studio, created on a budget of less than $200, a one month shooting schedule where – because of limited access to electricity – they could only shoot three days a week, and without any outside professional input; Who Killed Captain Alex? is unlike any other movie I’ve ever seen. It’s one of the most enjoyable movies ever made.

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