Category Archives: Like It

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

Dumbo (2019) Movie Review

Tim Burton’s live action Dumbo film begins by tracing, whimsically, the path of traveling Medici Bros. Circus. Burton flourishes this ride, particularly as the train passes through a tunnel that morphs into the twirling red and white of a circus tent.

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As energetic as this opening trek is, the Medici Bros. (“Bros.,” it bears noting, is a misnomer. A single Medici (Danny Devito) serves both roles), the circus has Continue reading Dumbo (2019) Movie Review

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The Beach Bum (2019) Movie Review

In The Beach Bum, Matthew McConaughey is the most Matthew McConaughey that McConaughey has ever McConaugheyed.

Armed with scraggled, hay-colored hair; flip-up shades; psychedelic Hawaiian print shirts; and constant PBR tallboys, Moondog (McConaughey) has the outer appearance of a grizzled, careless sea dog. But in reality, Moondog is “the most prolific poet in all of Key West, Florida.” This according to a dive bar musician, who allows Moondog on stage to sing along and then riff an unformed piece of poetry.

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Moondog made his riches early, both through his poetry and through his marriage. But he largely ignores the money (until Continue reading The Beach Bum (2019) Movie Review

Captive State (2019) Movie Review

Rupert Wyatt’s Captive State begins with the trope of the ominous, overlapping news audio playing over black screens and production logos. The newscasters speak of an “apocalyptic” state. Then, we see a city of Chicago in chaos. From the vantage of noxious, tight handheld closeups inside of a car, we witness civilians trying to evacuate and being contained by the military. The car we occupy gets through the blockade, just barely, but is stopped by an elusive, pitch-colored, form-shifting alien.

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We are then transported to a computer screen being fed an outgoing message, and with it comes a Continue reading Captive State (2019) Movie Review

Captain Marvel (2019) Movie Review

Note: If you consider a plot synopsis of the first act of a movie a spoiler, then spoiler warning for this review. That is all.

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Vers (Brie Larson) lives, with partial amnesia, on Hala, the homeworld of the Kree civilization. She spars with Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), who encourages her to Continue reading Captain Marvel (2019) Movie Review

Paddleton (2019) Movie Review

Michael (Mark Duplass) sits in a doctor’s office listening to his diagnosis. Andy (Ray Romano) stands at his side. They’re friends, of a sort, though their go-to descriptor for the relationship is “neighbor.” As Andy tries to wrap his head around Michael’s diagnosis—cancer, most likely of the terminal variety—he stammers. Flustered, he tries to get a straight answer out of the doctor, who has nothing to offer.

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Then, Michael and Andy go about their regular day. They play a racquetball variation called “Paddleton.” They watch the same kung-fu movies on VHS. They do puzzles together. They say little and share a lot.

Paddleton takes the very serious subject of Continue reading Paddleton (2019) Movie Review

Greta (2019) Movie Review

There is something perversely compelling about Greta, the new film from Neil Jordan. At the same time, there is something far too familiar about the film, a terse obsession thriller.

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Perhaps the fascination begins and ends with the inimitable Isabelle Huppert, who literally pirouettes through her pathological, homicidal character. She is Continue reading Greta (2019) Movie Review

Isn’t it Romantic (2019) Movie Review

At an early age, Natalie (Rebel Wilson) is taught from her mom that she is not the type of woman they make romantic comedies about. Those movies don’t fit into real life; at least, they don’t fit into what her real life will be. “We’re no Julia Roberts,” Natalie’s told. If they made a movie out of her life, they would have to “sprinkle Prozac on the popcorn.”

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Natalie has carried these values, perhaps subconsciously, into her adult life. She assumes she is blind to the world, and thus she allows herself to be pushed around at work. She is Continue reading Isn’t it Romantic (2019) Movie Review