Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Tenet

MOVIE REVIEW!!!

Tenet (2020)

Starring: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh

Directed By: Christoper Nolan

NOTE: This movie was watched at a pop-up drive in theater within COVID-19 guidelines with social distancing and other safety measures in place. Anyone choosing to attend a movie theater can do so at their own risk, but should really look into the serious risks that attend with seeing a movie in a theater. Check out this article from the A.V. Club that gives a good idea of if you should go to the movies in a theater (hint: it’s a big ol’ NO).

MILD SPOILERS (though to be honest, it’s hard to explain anyways)

It’s no secret that 2020 has been a rough year for the multiplex. With a virus that is nowhere near under control causing many major studios to delay or cancel their big releases for this year, the box office has been looking dim for many movie fans. However, Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros have been hell bent on releasing Tenet this year in hopes of saving the movie theater experience, and whether you think that’s courageous or fool-hardy, the latest mind-bending blockbuster from the director behind The Dark Knight, Inception, and Interstellar is back with a new story that’s set to leave you both in awe of the spectacle, and have you looking for the nearest textbook on time theories.

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Movie Review: Palm Springs!

Palm-Springs-Hulu-posterMovie Review!

Palm Springs (2020)

Starring: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons

Directed By: Max Barbakow

We’re halfway through 2020, and much of that time has been spent hunkering down indoors, avoiding the outside world. For a lot of us, the rhythm and routine of quarantine has blurred the days into one long, singular stretch of time, which makes Hulu’s Palm Springs, the much buzzed-about hit at Sundance, the perfect film for these strange and trying times. Featuring two strangers who are trapped reliving the same day at a wedding venue, Palm Springs would appear to be a riff on the tried and true Groundhog Day formula. And while it does play on the well established trope of reliving the same day differently over and over and over again, the themes and chemistry of the two leads make this not only a worthwhile quarantine watch, but one of the best films of the year. Read the rest of this entry

Movie Review: The Invisible Man!

MOVIE REVIEW!

indexThe Invisible Man (2020)
Starring: Elizabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Storm Reid
Directed By: Leigh Whannell

Much has been made about Universal’s misguided attempt to launch “Dark Universe”, a series of films starring the studio’s classic monsters that started and abruptly ended with Tom Cruise’s The Mummy in 2017. After that failure to launch, the studio gave up on trying to combat the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and instead allowed other filmmakers and studios to use some of their classic monsters. The first of those partnerships is Blumhouse’s The Invisible Man, which updates the H.G. Wells classic tale for the modern day in both setting and theme. Whereas the original story and Claude Rains 1933 film detailed the slow descent into madness of the main character after he gains the power of invisibility, this new take from writer/director Leigh Whannell (Saw, Upgrade) instead puts the focus on Elizabeth Moss’ Cecilia, who believes that she’s being tormented by her abusive ex after his death. Read the rest of this entry

A Sinister Scene

Sinister_SixNow that Morbius, the next Sony movie that’s a spin off that won’t feature Spider-Man, is finished and being released later this year we finally have an idea of what’s in store for us when it comes to the post- New Deal that Sony and Disney have made. As depicted in the first trailer for the film, Jared Leto’s Michael Morbius walks down a hallway, and we hear the sound of Michael Keaton, and then see Keaton himself address the living vampire in an obvious ploy to connect this film to the larger MCU. Read the rest of this entry

Movie Review: Birds of Prey!

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Starring: Margot Robie, Jurnee Smollet-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ewan McGregor, Rose Perez, Chris Messina

Directed By: Cathy Yan

As the DCEU transitions from trying to copy Marvel Studios into a more “director-driven” studio, it’s opened up numerous directors to try new things with the DC stable of characters. Obviously we all know the results of Todd Phillips’ Joker, but what about a character that was already established fairly well in a previous mega successful (financially) film for the studio? Enter Birds of Prey, otherwise known by its much longer title, Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. A movie that’s both kind of a sequel to Suicide Squad and also another turning point for the studio post-Synderverse, the Margot Robie starring vehicle from director Cathy Yan is a surprisingly fun ride that has plenty of charm, but not without some faults. Read the rest of this entry

Movie Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
Starring: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega

Directed by: J.J. Abrams
SPOILERS

After all the hub-bub, The Rise of Skywalker has arrived, and the Skywalker Saga is at an end. Of course, the Disney machine won’t REALLY let this be the end, but for now, it is, and what an end it is. Chock full of more revelations, more characters, more lightsaber battles, and more droids and weird aliens, The Rise of Skywalker honestly feels less like a closing to the saga and more like another chapter, right until the halfway mark, where the film suddenly remembers to wrap everything up. In short, it’s a movie that feels like a pretty good ending to the sequel trilogy, an okay ending to the saga as a whole, and a movie that attempts to appease everyone and no one at the same time. And after the thrill ride fun of The Force Awakens and the daring and polarizing risks of The Last Jedi, it comes up a little short. Read the rest of this entry

Movie Review: Knives Out

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Knives Out (2019)

Starring: Daniel Craig, Ana De Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson

Directed By: Rian Johnson

I see a ton of movies (probably too many if I’m being honest), so when it comes time to really take stock and think about what I think are some of the best of any given year, it’s pretty much always a difficult task. However, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what will be my favorite movie of the year for 2019, and it’s not Avengers: Endgame (surprisingly). No, it’s a film from the director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and features a cast that consists of Captain America, James Bond, Laurie Strode, Sonny Crockett, and General Zod in a murder mystery that has shades of Clue but also its own madcap energy. And its name is Knives Out. Read the rest of this entry

Movie Review: Zombieland: Double Tap

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Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch

Directed By: Ruben Fleischer

Sequels are hard. Comedy sequels are harder. But Horror Comedy sequels? They’re virtually non-existent, and ones that come ten years after the original are almost always doomed for failure. Which makes Zombieland: Double Tap one of the bigger surprises of the year for me. From assembling the original cast and crew to not falling into the trap of rehashing the jokes from the original, there’s plenty to find enjoyable in the return trip to Zombieland, even if the end result isn’t as fresh as the original. Read the rest of this entry

Movie Review: Joker

MOVIE REVIEW!

D3KMvvFU0AADLajJoker (2019)

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beets, Robert De Niro, Francis Conroy

Directed By: Todd Phillips

SPOILERS

Being a big Batman fan, I’ve seen a lot of takes on the Dark Knight. That also means I’ve seen a lot of takes on his arch nemesis, the Joker. From Heath Ledger’s scarred anarchist to Jared Leto’s tattooed thug, The Joker has had arguably the most interpretations of any comic book character in history, and since he’s my all-time favorite villain in fiction, I’m pretty protective of him. Which is why I was going into Todd Phillips’ Joker with some pretty heavy skepticism. On the one hand, you have Joaquin Phoenix, arguably the best actor of our generation, in the lead. On the other hand, this is a Joker origin movie (strike one) that doesn’t feature Batman (strike two), and is from the director of The Hangover and Due Date (movies that I find funny, but strike three). Add in the fact that it seems to be more influenced by early Martin Scorsese films like Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy than anything from the Clown Prince of Crime’s myriad comic book appearances, and I was starting to get a feeling of confusion over what the point of even calling this film “Joker” was . With the storm of controversy and furor surrounding the film’s release, including winning the Golden Lion at Cannes and increased police presence at showings (plus Todd Phillips’ increasingly stupid comments on the state of comedy), and it was getting to a point where I was looking forward to seeing the film less out excitement and curiosity, and more out of a feeling of “let’s just get this over with”. The end result has me falling somewhere squarely in the middle on Joker, a film that has many flaws, but an undeniably great lead performance in Joaquin Phoenix. Read the rest of this entry

Movie Review: Rambo: Last Blood

960x0MOVIE REVIEW!!

Rambo: Last Blood (2019)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Yvette Monreal, Paz Vega

Directed By: Adrian Grunberg

Despite seemingly hanging up the bow and arrow and knife in Rambo, Sylvester Stallone is back to wage war once again in Rambo: Last Blood, the fifth film in the franchise that somehow keeps chugging along. Serving as a weird epilogue of sorts to the story of John Rambo, the Vietnam vet who has probably killed more people than Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, and Freddy Krueger combined, Last Blood feels less like the four films that came before it, and more like a strange reboot for a Rambo limited series. That being said though, the last twenty minutes of the film are absolutely bananas, and have some of the best action sequences of the whole series. Read the rest of this entry