Category Archives: Leave it

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.

The Lion King (2019) Movie Review

The throw-out umbrella term “live action” used to describe the slough of Disney “re-imaginations” is a misnomer. It has been since The Jungle Book recreation in 2016, which is live action only in its employment of Neel Sethi as Mowgli. Everything else in that film is comprised of computer generated visual effects.

With The Lion King, Jon Favreau returns after The Jungle Book to direct, and the film is Continue reading The Lion King (2019) Movie Review

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Stuber (2019) Movie Review

There may not be much charm in the title Stuber—if you don’t have the pieces of the clumsy portmanteau pieced together from the trailer before going to the cinema, then it is a title likely to breed more confusion than chuckles. But there is some charm to the notion of an original buddy cop comedy within a Summer drought of failing franchise/reboot IP (Disney not included, at least not financially-speaking).

On paper, a comedy starring Kumail Nanjiani as a civilian trapped in the middle of a police investigation led by a tough-nosed Dave Bautista sounds like Continue reading Stuber (2019) Movie Review

Yesterday (2019) Movie Review

Yesterday is a perfect example of a film that makes for a great trailer. A trailer that hides everything but the premise, because nothing other than the premise would be enticing to put into a trailer.

This premise is this: a global blackout lasting 12 seconds causes failing musician Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) to be struck by a bus. After leaving the hospital, he is shocked to find that Continue reading Yesterday (2019) Movie Review

Child’s Play (2019) Movie Review

Lars Klevberg and Tyler Burton Smith’s Child’s Play is not so much a reboot or remake. It is more of a new film with a Chucky skin layered on. The Child’s Play brand is well-known. Killer children’s doll kills. A simple premise.

Smith’s script changes many aspects surrounding this premise. The Buddi toy, even though it looks like a doll from the late ’80s, is a toy for the modern era. It is a home-connecting device, voice activated like a Google Home or an Amazon Alexa. It connects to your television, stereo, electrical system, etc.

Chucky (Mark Hamill), the doll in question, is gifted to teenage Andy (Gabriel Bateman) by his mother (Aubrey Plaza), who works at the return counter of the Zed Mart that is stuffed to the brim with Buddi dolls. Instead of being possessed by the soul of a ruthless killer, however, this Chucky is Continue reading Child’s Play (2019) Movie Review

Men in Black: International (2019) Movie Review

Men in Black: International is the rare reboot picture that makes me question whether any film in the franchise was any good to begin with. It looks and feels like the preceding trilogy. The setting is a comic book world populated by covert aliens, some of which are hunted by or hunting equally-covert agents of the law donning black shades and slick suits. The appearance of energy comes in the form of quippy Men in Black, distinct alien character designs, and shiny silver weaponry that shoot beams of colored lights.

Perhaps the original Men in Black has more of a narrative backbone than this. But I don’t remember Continue reading Men in Black: International (2019) Movie Review

Dark Phoenix (2019) Movie Review

Dark Phoenix, instead of soaring into theaters with a fiery majesty, landed to roost with an unceremonious whimper. Battered by poor reviews and poorer box office returns on its inaugural weekend, this final (unless The New Mutants ends up finally getting a release) Fox X-Men release is limping its way to the finish line.

But Dark Phoenix is by no means the worst X-Men film of the franchise. In fact, it succeeds in crucial ways at which the previous film Continue reading Dark Phoenix (2019) Movie Review

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Movie Review

Say what you will of kaiju films, the best of them thrill and excite. They combine large-scale, city-devastating set pieces with the ground-level desperation of humanity to prevail in the face of armageddon.

The original Godzilla has in its cast of characters a dramatic blend of family dynamics, romantic interest, and political proliferation. The blend may appear shallow in terms of character depth, but it provides us with names and relationships that we want to see succeed.

All the while, it provides the Continue reading Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Movie Review