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.
Crime novel adaptations to the screen seem to not be faring too well. Last year’s The Girl on the Train is the most recent example, but now we have The Snowman to take up the mantle. Let’s just hope that Murder on the Orient Express does some justice to its source material and to the medium of cinema.
Alien was set against the backdrop of corporate struggles between white collar and blue collar. Aliens: on the backdrop of ragtag soldiers not understanding the gravity of their situation; an extended metaphor for Vietnam, if you will. Alien 3, although flawed for it, is about religious persecution by way of prison purgatory.
Alien: Covenant? It is set on the backdrop of ironic lost love. Thanks, Hollywood.
Derek Cianfrance, the director of The Place Beyond the Pines and Blue Valentine, returns with a story that is similarly bleak and heart-wrenching, despite what the title might have you believe. The Light Between Oceans tells the story of a married couple (Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender) who, after multiple attempts, fail to carry a child to term.
Cianfrance brings style to the film, but it does not make up for the pitfalls of narrative and thematic substance. Lighting and framing capture picaresque cinematic moments from the 1920s Australian landscape. The sound design, in certain pivotal scenes, is fantastic. The film appears very much, and very adeptly, like a film.
Fassbender and Vikander come together to make up the tragic couple. They are the film’s driving force, and they are both wonderful. Rachel Weiss, in addition, is absolutely riveting in a criminally small supporting role.
In Ancient Egypt, a god is buried. But it is not a god, it is a mutant. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). Apocalypse can unlock the true potential in any other mutant, and then use those powers for his own design. That, and he can turn people to dust. After his resurfacing in the 1980s, mutants must band together and reform the X-Men in order to take down Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen.
The first act of the film sets up strong characters and their motivations. We get to see a young Scott Summers (Tye Sheridan) as a teen growing up with uncontrolled powers. Magneto (Michael Fassbender) gets a strong emotional arc to once again Continue reading X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) Movie Review→
The October slate of movies this year stirs up a distinct feeling in me: Hesitation. There are plenty of films that I hope will blow me away, but, as I outline below, I have my reservations about many of them.
Note: for the sake of this series of articles, the “Fall movie season” refers to the span of time beginning with the first weekend after Labor Day weekend and ending with the last weekend in December.