Chances are that you already know if you want to see Skyscraper. It is a 1980s style action film with a poster featuring Dwayne Johnson hanging precariously from a building. There isn’t much mystery as to what the appeals of the film are.
Name an action movie, and it is somewhere in the bones of this film. Terrorists hijack the world’s tallest building in Hong Kong—it is three times taller than the Empire State Building—setting it on fire. Trapped inside are Continue reading Skyscraper (2018) Movie Review→
Hotel Transylvania is a strange equation. Take Sony Pictures and add much-acclaimed animator Genndy Tartakovsky, a script co-penned by Robert Smigel, and a cast of voice actors featuring Adam Sandler and his frequent collab buddies. Sounds like a too-many-cooks disaster.
San Francisco. It is a bleak, ash-covered world. Lost and devoid of hope, survivors futilely search for meaning after a battle at Wakanda changed the universe with a single snap.
Just kidding! Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, the sequel to Peyton Reed’s 2015 film Ant-Man, is set weeks prior to the events of Avengers: Infinity War. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), aka Ant-Man, is at the tail-end of his house arrest, which he landed after helping out Captain America during the events of Captain America: Civil War.
I’m going to be transparent about something up front: I’m going to the mat for The First Purge. Not only do I think it is a passable movie, but I think it is the only good Purge film to date.
The Purge is a franchise whose premise showed so much promise from the beginning. An American political system in which an annual event allows all crime to be legal for one night. It has B-movie schlock written all over it.
Why, then, was The Purge a quaint home invasion movie? Sure, it had the high concept marketing gimmick of people in creepy masks (a concept that has reached pique kitsch by the fourth installment). But otherwise it was no different, narratively, from a Funny Games or a Panic Room (both of which: superior artistic efforts than The Purge).
Uncle Drew. A feature length, wide-release Hollywood film based off of those Pepsi commercials I don’t remember. On paper, it sounds like a corporate scheme. Let’s round up a couple basketball stars, some hot-right-now comedians, and throw them into a sports movie template with enough empty space in the set dressing for product placement.
It could have been a cynical business move. Surprisingly, though, Uncle Drew shows more integrity than that. There isn’t a blinding amount of corporate sponsorship on display. There are some Pepsi and Gatorade logos, and Aleve is both name-checked and on prominent display in the film’s climactic location. Still, it is no Continue reading Uncle Drew (2018) Movie Review→
There are two reviews I can write about Sicario: Day of the Soldado. One compares the drug cartel thrill-drama to its inarguably superior predecessor. The other views it in a vacuum. One of these reviews disparages the film. The other provides a half-hopeful shrug of the shoulders.
2018 is halfway over (more or less). That means it is time to take stock of the films that have come and gone.
Six months is a long time, and many films have reached audiences. It is impossible for me to see everything. But of the 75 movies I’ve seen from calendar year 2018 (based on US release dates), these are my top 10.