Category Archives: Like It

Movies I liked but likely won’t watch again. Something was off that I wish had been done differently.

The Disaster Artist (2017) Movie Review

James Franco’s The Disaster Artist could have been the extension of a joke, an acknowledgment of the irony that makes Tommy Wiseau’s historical miscalculation The Room such an audience favorite. That would have been the easy route, and it would have made for a less compelling film.
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Instead, The Disaster Artist takes an earnest approach. It aims to convince us that it is the drive of Wiseau’s vision which is truly Continue reading The Disaster Artist (2017) Movie Review

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Coco (2017) Movie Review

Pixar films often run on a formula of a handful of sure-fire tropes. A protagonist with dreams bigger than the present situation, prevented from acting on those dreams by external forces. A sidekick character who either doesn’t talk or has way too much to say. A supporting character who turns out to be evil at the third act break. The hero’s journey, all in pursuit of a theme that revolves around family and/or finding oneself.

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Coco does not deviate wildly from this formula, certainly not as much as Continue reading Coco (2017) Movie Review

Novitiate (2017) Movie Review

When Pope John XXIII created Vatican II, it shook the Catholic Church to its core. The Second Vatican CouncilĀ  was a big deal at the time, being that it was the first reconvening of Roman Catholic officials for the sake of reform in over 100 years.

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In the wake of Vatican II, thousands of nuns left the Church given that, in an attempt to create a more open and inviting Church, the status of nuns was Continue reading Novitiate (2017) Movie Review

Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) Movie Review

It wouldn’t be surprising if you only know of the film Roman J. Israel, Esq. because the poster features the back of Denzel Washington’s head. It’s understandable. It’s not as if the name is particularly catchy. But Roman J. Israel, Esq. is the second directorial feature from Dan Gilroy, the man behind Nightcrawler and the scripts of such films as The Fall and Bourne Legacy.

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For someone who appreciated Nightcrawler, it is not unreasonable to anticipate good things from Gilroy’s follow up. Don’t be fooled. Roman J. Israel, Esq.—and I only keep reiterating the name because we are reminded of it time and time again in the film—is not Continue reading Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) Movie Review

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligatory Mention of Tony Clifton (2017) Movie Review

There is a moment at the very start of Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligatory Mention of Tony Clifton where you expect this to be a pretentious showbiz doc, where Jim Carrey stares at the camera and tries to convince us in one line that the soul of Andy Kaufman embodied him when he got the job as Kaufman for the Milos Forman film Man on the Moon.

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In a sense, Jim & Andy is this standard industry documentary, telling the story of how an actor was inspired to give another industry figure an in memoriam by way of biopic. It is the type of biopic that Continue reading Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligatory Mention of Tony Clifton (2017) Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Movie Review

In Murder on the Orient Express, Kenneth Branagh directs Kenneth Branagh as Agatha Christie’s famous detective Hercule Poirot. The film informs us of his reputation by opening with Poirot solving a crime in front of an abundant crowd, as if he is the main attraction at a circus. In case this was not enough—and because the script felt the need to address its own ludicrous facial hair creation—Daisy Ridley’s Mary Debenham recites her first line in the film thusly:

“I know your mustache…from the papers!”

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When the plot of the film begins in earnest—in which a mobster criminal (Johnny Depp) hiding on the train is Continue reading Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Movie Review

Creep 2 (2017) Movie Review

Creep 2 is the Patrick Brice-directed follow up to 2014’s Creep, the mumblegore sensation starring Brice and Mark Duplass. In that film, written by the two but perhaps mostly just ad-libbed on the day by them, Duplass plays Josef, a man who hires a cameraman to make a film for Josef’s unborn son.

Of course, there is much more to it than that.

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In Creep 2, Duplass is back, and his deranged character goes by Aaron this time around. Aaron hires Sara (Desiree Akhavan), the host and one-woman crew of the webseries “Encounters.” With her Youtube series utterly failing, she is willing to Continue reading Creep 2 (2017) Movie Review