Saturday, March 18, 2017

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - Familiar Guests

Disney's current kick of remaking their iconic animated films in live-action shows no sign of stopping. Not only did Cinderella make more than half a billion dollars on a budget of less than $100 million, but last year's The Jungle Book wiped the floor with WB's would-be titan Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at the box office. So it absolutely makes sense that the House of Mouse would want to have another bite at the apple (see what I did there?) of one of their most well-known and well-regarded films.

And while it was utterly unnecessary, Beauty and the Beast is yet another - mostly - successful effort.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

KONG: SKULL ISLAND - Monster Mash

Kong: Skull Island is the best movie that Ray Harryhausen never made.

If that sounds like your jam, you're set. Go see it on as large a screen as possible and enjoy the popcorn and giant beasties.

But if you need to hear more, well. . .

Sunday, March 5, 2017

LOGAN - Children of X-Men

For all their ups and downs, the single greatest constant in the X-Men movie franchise has been Hugh Jackman's series-defining turn as James "Logan" Howlett, a.k.a., Wolverine. Even going so far as to provide laudably memorable cameos in films ostensibly not featuring any part of his story, Jackman (who was a last-minute replacement for Dougray Scott when Mission: Impossible 2 conflicted with the filming schedule of 2000's X-Men) has been so magnetic a screen presence that 7 of the 10 movies in Fox's franchise are mostly or entirely about him.

And he's absolutely defined the character for an entire generation of film-goers who have literally grown up with these movies. That's more than worthy of a good send-off now that he's ready to hang up the claws for good, and Logan absolutely provides that.

Mostly by being completely uninterested in being a show-boaty tribute to the title character or pandering to audience expectations.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

GET OUT - Under Your Skin

I've long asserted that the genres of horror and comedy are beholden to similar skill sets when it comes to their effective execution, primarily that the ability to build and release tension/expectations by means of either laughs or scares (or, in some cases, both) is absolutely essential.

If all Jordan Peele's debut film had going for it was a basic grasp of these skills (honed over years of fantastic sketch comedy on his and Keegan-Michael Key's "Key and Peele" run) coupled with the brilliant premise that is Get Out's central hook, he could have more or less coasted on that. But Peele shows up with a wicked, knowing smile, a thirst to play for keeps, and a surprising grasp of cinematic language for a first-time director.

And he absolutely CRUSHES IT. Get Out is a stone-cold modern horror classic, and best film of its kind since The Cabin in the Woods.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 - The Hits Keep Coming

Dear Every Other Action Franchise in Hollywood - look at John Wick: Chapter 2 and hang your heads in shame.

DEEP. SHAME.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016...At Least the Movies Were Good?

Look, at this point it's beyond cliche and almost passe to say that 2016 was...well, not so much a dumpster fire of a year as it was a congealing of dark forces from the hidden corners of our reality that gained malevolent consciousness and cut a vindictive swath of destruction through almost everything we know and love.

I mean, there were some good things. Tigers and Pandas are less endangered. Ebola got its ass kicked. I found out that I'm gonna be a dad. And yeah, there were some really bitchin' movies.

So let's dig into that. That sounds good.

Friday, December 16, 2016

ROGUE ONE - Very Definitely A STAR WARS Story

If there's ever a STAR WARS film that starts as strong as last year's The Force Awakens and finishes with the punch of Rogue One, we'll finally have a movie that can - at long last - take the title from The Empire Strikes Back as "the best STAR WARS movie ever made."

You want more than that? Buckle up.