Category Archives: Like It

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

Hardcore Henry (2016) Movie Review

The first person POV film Hardcore Henry follows the eponymous character (here, the camera is a character) after an unexplained accident renders him maimed. Given cybernetic enhancements to essentially his entire body in a series of jump cuts, Henry must fight to save the wife (Haley Bennett) he doesn’t remember from the corporation that provided the parts that built him.

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For the most part, it is your basic action movie plot: the untethered yet reluctant hero, the damsel in distress, the rugged in-the-know guru (or about a dozen of them), and the clearly immoral villain.

The gimmick, then, is the cinematographic choices. The real question, then, is: Is this a gimmick film? Continue reading Hardcore Henry (2016) Movie Review

Eye in the Sky (2016) Movie Review

In Eye in the Sky, a joint security task force between the UK, the U.S., and Kenya plan a combined drone and ground strike on a meeting of high-level Al-Shabaab terrorists in Nairobi. When the operation starts breaking down, the scenario boils down to a political debate over whether or not to utilize a drone strike to take down the targets.

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The film attempts topical commentary inside the drama-thriller framework it is working with. What works most readily is Continue reading Eye in the Sky (2016) Movie Review

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016) Movie Review

Kim Baker (Tina Fey) is a low-on-the-totem-pole journalist sent to Afghanistan to cover the war there. While there, she deals with gender and cultural politics, as well as personal relationships with military and press personnel.

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In Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, the acting performances are Continue reading Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016) Movie Review

Tell Me Sweet Something (2015) Movie Review

Tell Me Sweet Something follows young author Moratiwa (Nomzamo Mbatha) through the trials of artistry and romance.

Mbatha holds down the fort at the head of the film well. Her character the most well-rounded of the lot, she is given a lot more to work with. But, all the same, she embodies the character well.

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Fulfilling the obligatory role of comedic relief male sidekick is Thomas Gumede as Gordon. Albeit a tired character, Continue reading Tell Me Sweet Something (2015) Movie Review

Race (2016) Movie Review

Race is the biopic of Olympic athlete Jesse Owens. The film follows Owens (Stephan James) as he tackles adversity in 1930s America and Germany. It also explores the relationship between Owens and his down-and-out coach Larry Snyder (Jason Sudeikis).

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What it boils down to is that this film is a Continue reading Race (2016) Movie Review

Hail Caesar! (2016) Movie Review

In Hail Caesar!, the latest from the Coen Brothers, Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is an actor during the Golden Age of Hollywood. He is introduced on-screen in a meta framing—a screening within a screening—portraying a Roman leader in a historical epic a la Spartacus. During filming of this movie, Whitlock is drugged and kidnapped.

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Hail Caesar! is the Coen Brothers’ love letter to classical Hollywood cinema. The standard genres of the period are represented: Westerns, historical epics, Broadway musical adaptations, bourgeois romance, etc.

The structural issue of this love letter is that Continue reading Hail Caesar! (2016) Movie Review

Over (2015) Short Film Review

Over, the short film from director Jorn Threlfall, begins quietly. We get static long shots of a suburban street. At 11:45 pm. Then at 7:30 pm. The first two minutes are silence, save for ambient noise, as we see a couple park their car and cross the street, where they see a letter and a bouquet of flowers near the median. They speculate that someone has died there.

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The story soon becomes clear. In reverse chronological order, we get to see Continue reading Over (2015) Short Film Review