“Black. All important movies start with a black screen.” This is the first line of The Lego Batman Movie, the spinoff/sequel of the 2014 surprise hit The Lego Movie. The tongue-in-cheek opening is reminiscent of the opening of a similar late-winter release from last year: Deadpool. The Lego Batman Movie is not Deadpool, for obvious reasons, but the spirit of light comic book mockery is the same.
The Lego Batman Movie utilizes an economy of exposition, relying on prior franchise knowledge and in-jokes to set up Continue reading The Lego Batman Movie (2017) 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.
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
In the new outing for James Bond (Daniel Craig), we open on a gun barrel sequence. The classic gun barrel sequence, which we haven’t seen up front in a Daniel Craig Bond film until now. Signifying a return to classic Bond form, perhaps?
In Mexico City on Dia de Los Muertos, Bond stalks through a parade in a skeleton mask. He is on an off-book mission to assassinate a series of targets before they Continue reading Spectre (2015) Movie Review
Skyfall opens on an extended foot and car chase, which is choreographed beautifully. It also ends with the apparent death of James Bond (Daniel Craig), shot and left for dead in the sea as Adele’s thunderous theme kicks in. Of course, Bond survives, but MI6 doesn’t know this. M (Judi Dench) must write his obituary. Her job is also threatened for her reckless actions with her agents in the field.
Following this, MI6’s computers are hacked and their headquarters are destroyed. Bond returns to help remedy the situation, but he’s Continue reading Skyfall (2012) Movie Review