Movies I wish I had skipped. This could be for any number of reasons: the film was made sloppily, the narrative didn’t engage me, or I simply could not connect with the film in any way for whatever reason.
Through the endless minutes of exposition at the front-end of The Titan, we hear a lot of what we have heard before in dystopian science fiction. Population is rising, while resources are dwindling. Pressures for survival have lit up violent conflicts across the world. Scientists and military personnel are desperate for a solution. Terraforming Saturn’s moon, Titan. Biogenetic enhancements to survive such a move. Medical trials gone wrong. Yadda yadda.
Rick Janssen (Sam Worthington) is one of these test subjects. A military man who was once thought MIA while in the Syrian desert, it is this incident that convinces the government that he is Continue reading The Titan (2018) Movie Review→
Rampage is a 1980s arcade game in which three giant, mutated animals—a gorilla, a lizard, and a wolf—stomp through city skylines. The monsters tear down buildings, destroy military vehicles, and eat people. All for points. The game was popular enough to be ported over to multiple video game consoles.
The video game has no story and few characters (the monsters are given names, at least). Yet, somehow, Hollywood has managed to give the intellectual property both of these things. At least, enough of these things to produce a marketable movie.
On the last day of Spring Break in Mexico, Olivia (Lucy Hale) is convinced by a man she meets at a bar (Landon Liboiron) to travel to an abandoned and remote convent with her friends. There, the stranger asks them to play an innocent game of truth or dare. One of Olivia’s friends remarks with a flippant comment along the lines of, “What, like we’re in seventh grade?”
Just to be clear, they’re not. The grown adults proceed to play the game in one of the more tonally awkward sequences of Truth or Dare (or Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare, an attribution tagged on seemingly due to the success of last year’s Get Out and Happy Death Day). The scene is meant to Continue reading Truth or Dare (2018) Movie Review→
Mason Skiles (Jon Hamm) is a negotiator. In 1972, he works for the U.S. government in Beirut. At a dinner party, he sums up the situation in Lebanon by calling the country a “boarding house without a landlord” that was thrown into confusion when the Palestinians “moved in.”
He continues talking in this politically-savvy way, as if he understands that the country is headed toward civil war. When he is brought back to Beirut 10 years later, however, he seems surprised at what he sees when he touches down.
The main conversation surrounding Chappaquiddick, the drama from John Curran detailing the events following the drunk driving accident perpetrated by Ted Kennedy that cost Robert Kennedy campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne her life, is a political one. A political film breeding political conversation; the equation makes sense.
Apparently the liberal creatives behind the film are frustrated with the lack of liberal media attention for the film, and the conservative audience is the one championing the film for not sugar-coating the incident—although, to play devil’s advocate to the IndieWire piece, a good number of liberal-minded critics have given the film positive reviews.
In 2013, Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor told the soap operatic story about a woman whose life falls apart due to a reckless and ill-advised romantic relationship. With 2018’s Acrimony, Perry weaves a story with the exact same premise, frame narrative and all.
Ernest Cline’s science fiction novel Ready Player One is not just laced in nostalgia; it is fully marinated in it. The story takes place in 2045, where most people in the world are deeply entrenched in an MMO-style VR video game dubbed The Oasis. With the death of the video game’s creator, James Halliday (Mark Rylance, in the film adaptation), a massive game-wide hunt is afoot for an Easter Egg that will give its finder control over The Oasis.
In essence, it is a story about Easter Eggs created by a person with a strong fondness for Easter Eggs that itself is littered with Easter Eggs. It is a nostalgia vehicle. This is not inherently a bad thing.