Colossal masquerades itself as a certain type of movie. It opens on the ominous, lingering image of a Kaiju-like monster. Then, sweeping shots of the New York skyline play out over a driving, Dark Knight trilogy-esque score. Then, Gloria (Anne Hathaway) enters, hungover and rambling thinly-veiled excuses to her boyfriend (Dan Stevens) about where she has been.
It doesn’t quite match the previously set tone, does it?
When her boyfriend leaves her due to her drinking problem, Gloria moves back to her hometown, where she falls in with an old friend named Oscar (Jason Sudeikis). An old friend who just so happens to own his father’s bar.
Remember that Kaiju that I mentioned earlier? Whelp…turns out it pantomimes the actions of Gloria when she sets foot on a playground she knew once as a child. It pantomimes everything, including Continue reading Colossal (2017) Movie Review
At first, All Eyez On Me, the new biopic on rap sensation Tupac Shakur (Demetrius Shipp Jr.), comes off as a film trying to be efficiently synoptic, if not a bit rushed in getting to the point.
Within 15 minutes, we watch Tupac’s pregnant mother (played with a tenacious vigor by Danai Gurira) being released from prison, Tupac growing up in a family being watched by the FBI for Black Panther and perhaps criminal affiliations, and moving to Baltimore where his love of poetry and Shakespeare eventually leads to his rap career (once he moves again, this time to Oakland).
This is the first half of the first act. The film runs rampant with Continue reading All Eyez On Me (2017) Movie Review
Megan Leavey is your basic determination story. A short, scrawny U.S. Marine recruit (Kate Mara) struggles her way to a position as a bomb-sniffing dog handler. After she does that she has to train the most ornery Marine dog in the camp. After she does that she has to fight to bring that dog home.
While this narrative shows little signs of originality, it does provide Continue reading Megan Leavey (2017) Movie Review
It Comes At Night is a terse family drama disguising itself as a horror film. Still, it remains the scariest filmgoing experience of 2017 thus far.
The film takes place in an idyllic cabin hideaway in the woods. It is the sort of place that you would run off to on a lazy Summer weekend. But this house also has wood boarding up its windows. It has a pair of doors—one prominently red—locking itself off from the outside world.
This is no vacation. It is survival.
This contrast that director Trey Edward Shults plays with is crucial to the thematic understanding of It Comes At Night. In the film, a family of three have just buried Continue reading It Comes At Night (2017) Movie Review
Melanie (Sennia Nanua) is confined to a cell. She must strap herself in to a wheelchair at gunpoint before she can leave it. She is kept under close, militaristic watch. She is dangerous. And she is also a child.
In a secure compound, children like Melanie learn by rote during the day and are held in lockdown at night. They are test subjects for a Continue reading The Girl With All the Gifts (2016) Movie Review
Mary (Debra Winger) and Michael (Tracy Letts) are married. They are also both planning to leave the other to run off with their lovers, Robert (Aidan Gillen) and Lucy (Melora Walters) respectively. Both of them plan to drop the big news on or around the visit from their son Joel (Tyler Ross).
And that’s the ticking clock. In the meantime, the couple is meant to Continue reading The Lovers (2017) Movie Review
Glenn McMahon (Brad Pitt) is a celebrated, if not eccentric, United States Marine General tasked with leading NATO forces in 2009 Afghanistan. In 10 minutes, David Michod’s War Machine introduces McMahon’s team, none of which appear as appealing as Pitt’s left-eye bulging, tight-lipped officer of the people.
McMahon is tasked with handling relations with Afghanistan while the war winds down under the Barack Obama administration. It is a “nation-building exercise,” one which McMahon takes on with gusto.
Pitt’s character is, in delivery, an aged version of Lt. Aldo Raine. A gruff southern accent and a high degree of eyebrow expressivity control them both. Except, here, Pitt’s McMahon is Continue reading War Machine (2017) Movie Review