Joe Cornish’s follow-up to his 2011 critical darling Attack the Block is something completely different. Both Block and The Kid Who Would Be King focus on the plight of British youth, but Block is a hoodie horror deconstruction mixed with a shlock homage to B-movie creature features. The Kid Who Would Be King, on the other hand, is a family friendly action adventure in the style of Arthurian legend.
Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the sixth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise, and like all long-lasting Hollywood franchises it serves a steady-handed formula.
The plot of Fallout, then, needs little explanation. American secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is tasked with finding and retrieving a series of MacGuffins. To do so he reassembles a familiar team. Hunt will dangle high in the air. He will run at top speed. He will go rogue. All in pursuit of a narrative fueled for the contrived sake of action set pieces. All of which are stellar, so who am I to complain.
One benefit a musical is afforded is narrative efficiency. As we see at the beginning of The Greatest Showman, entire backstories and a character’s drives and goals can be distilled into a single song. But narrative efficiency should not replace depth of characterization, storytelling, nor theme.
The themes at the heart of the songs in The Greatest Showman are not particularly deep or insightful. The power of dreams and acting on them. The power of individuality and being comfortable in one’s own skin. Tolerance of those different than yourself. A general distaste for upper class snobbishness. None of these concepts are Continue reading The Greatest Showman (2017) Movie Review→
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.
On the International Space Station, a similarly international skeleton crew of astronauts receive a crucial sample from the surface of Mars. What they find in it, however, is more than merely sand and sediment deposits.
In New York, 1944, a wealthy socialite named Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep) takes a fancy to opera singing. With her husband’s (Hugh Grant) aid, she reunites with an old vocal coach (David Haig) and hires a young pianist (Simon Helberg). To the pianist’s dismay, his first rehearsal with Florence yields the revelation of her sheer inability to carry a tune.
Rachel (Emily Blunt) has an overactive imagination, living vicariously in her mind through the fantasy lives of strangers that she sees from her daily train commute. In particular, she is fascinated by a couple whose true lives are far less glamorous than the sex appeal that is seen as a blip on the passing train.