REVIEW – Solo: A Star Wars Story

Directed by: Ron Howard
Produced by: Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur, Simon Emanuel
Written by: Jonathan Kasdan, Lawrence Kasdan
Edited by: Pietro Scalia
Cinematography by: Bradford Young
Music by: John Powell, John Williams (theme)
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Erin Kellyman
Year: 2018

 

So… this movie was probably one of the most troubled of the recent Star Wars movies – if not any of them. Infamously dealt a blow when original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired late in production for problems behind the scenes that have still not been made entirely clear, the buzz surrounding Disney’s second “anthology” film began to turn sour in the minds of many fans anticipating its release, with many of them also taking issue with the fact that Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo just wasn’t going to measure up to the iconic performance we got from Harrison Ford – in the original trilogy and then reminding us how great he was just a couple years ago by also returning to the role in The Force Awakens. The hiring of Ron Howard, an overall reliable director with an old school sensibility and even experience working with Lucasfilm in the past (Willow) did seem to lift some spirits, but right up until Solo’s release (and particularly in the wake of the backlash that the ambitious and apparently heretical The Last Jedi received) it seems like everyone – fans both hardcore and casual – were preparing for this one to be a complete disaster.

Not me, though! I thought it looked damn fun. And, you know what? It really is! Read more…

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REVIEW – Avengers: Infinity War

Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Produced by: Kevin Feige
Written by: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Edited by: Jeffrey Ford, Matthew Schmidt
Cinematography by: Trent Opaloch
Music by: Alan Silvestri
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan, Peter Dinklage, Benedict Wong, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Gwyneth Paltrow, Terry Notary, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Carrie Coon, Michael James Shaw, Josh Brolin
Based on characters from Marvel Comics
Year: 2018

 

I’ve seen this movie twice now, and I’m still kinda shocked at how well they pulled this off. Infinity War is pretty much everything that fans could’ve wanted ever since Iron Man first teased The Avengers ten years ago in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first post-credits scene. Thanos, the Mad Titan, has finally arrived in theatres, and I can tell you that, even more than a week since I saw this (twice in the same weekend…), I’m still kind of in shock at just how fantastic Infinity War was. I think it may just be another film I see three times before it releases to Blu-Ray, in fact! Read more…

REVIEW – Love, Simon

March 31, 2018 Leave a comment
Directed by: Greg Berlanti
Produced by: Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, Isaac Klausner, Pouya Shahbazian
Screenplay by: Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth Berger
Edited by: Harry Jierjian
Cinematography by: John Guleserian
Music by: Rob Simonsen
Starring: Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg, Jr., Logan Miller, Talitha Bateman, Keiynan Lonsdale, Miles Heizer, Joey Pallari, Tony Hale
Based on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Year: 2018

Full disclosure that, to some of you, may sound a bit more like a disclaimer : I’m embarrassed to admit this, but… I am writing this after having seen the movie in theatres twice. I rarely do that for any film that isn’t something like Star Wars, or a superhero movie, or any number of films that benefit greatly from the sensory stimulus of a theatre experience. Love, Simon, a romcom about teenagers, is hardly in the same category. So why, then, did I pay good money for a second theatrical viewing, including concessions, to see this run-of-the-mill film about teenagers when I didn’t even do the same for Lady Bird, another film about a teenager that was among my personal picks for one of the best films of 2017?

Read more…

2017 IN REVIEW – My Favorite Films of the Year

March 10, 2018 Leave a comment

Alright, so I had intended to get this done a while ago – weeks ago, in fact, but at least before the Oscars. Naturally, life, as it does, gets in the way of ambitions, and so I’m releasing it as soon as I could.

2017 was a terrible year, but it wasn’t all bad in terms of the films that came out. In fact, there were quite a few that I loved this year, and… well, here they are! Below are the films from 2017 that either I personally enjoyed the most or that resonated with me the most. As such, I do not call them “the best,” but I do consider them to be exemplary. Unlike my previous two lists, each film is categorized roughly into the genre I think it (mostly) fits into (there’s always going to be overlap), and then in the usual ascending order of quality within the genre.

Even with all these, I can’t say I’m not relieved this is all over, finally. I kinda want to go back to reviewing films now, and 2018 is already well underway now… Read more…

2017 IN REVIEW – The Worst Films of the Year

March 2, 2018 Leave a comment

They can’t all be winners, and, as with any year, 2017 had some real stinkers. For the most part, I actually tried avoiding a lot of some of the apparent worst, but a few managed to either slip by me or, God help me, I sought them out just out of morbid curiosity.

The movies below are listed according to an admittedly somewhat arbitrary order based on gut instinct and memory, but while some of these may shift around a bit over time and even from day to day, you can bet these are all pretty terrible, with the top contenders being… well, some of the worst movies of 2017.


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2017 IN REVIEW – The Films Between Two Extremes

February 21, 2018 Leave a comment

Okay, so I’m very behind. I have decided on dropping the whole review of films I hadn’t seen yet thing with 2017. It took me way too long, and, with this year in particular, I just wasn’t feeling it. December and January were hard months for me – as was most of 2017 – but I also felt as though I’d seen most of the films I wanted to, even while reviewing the ones I had missed. And so, I break with a longstanding tradition and skip straight to talking about the films I have seen, starting with the films that I neither felt were awful nor were among my favorites.

Below you’ll find the 50 films(!) that fell within this category along with a brief-ish summary of how I felt about them – and how critics in general felt about them with the included Rotten Tomatoes score. These are not intended to be reviews, and I also warn you that in the interest of finishing this by Oscars night, I did not double check my writing, so I apologise for the roughness. But then again, nobody’s apologizing to me about the roughness that was 2017, so… screw it. Here we go!

Read more…

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2017 IN REVIEW – Worst. Year. Ever…?: An Introduction

January 4, 2018 1 comment

 

I’m starting to think that there’s something to my elders’ arguments that the world is becoming a worse place the more time goes on. 2017 was worse than 2016, for sure. At least for me. … And probably for the rest of America, come to think of it. But, you know, as disappointing, horrifying, sad, and stupid as the whole year was, it’s not like there weren’t some bright spots throughout the year, particularly in the world of film.

Of course, I’m actually mostly kidding about seeing the world as getting worse and worse, but it’s worth pointing out that 2017 was the first year in which I did not break a new record for most movies watched over the previous year, and it’s unlikely that I will be able to amend that by the end of this year in review series, either, even taking into account that I will continue to add movies to that list until the very end.

2017 was also the year I learned to be a lot more discerning due to financial and personal matters – I recently lost my grandpa after a two month long fight with an infection we became aware of in October. Yet it was also probably the year in which I rewatched the most films while they were still in theatres, just because I liked them so much. (Probably because the rest of the year was so miserable…) As a result, I didn’t have nearly as many “bad movie nights” as I did in years past, either because I just didn’t want to spend the money or because I was already in a bad mood, and if I was going to watch a bad movie, I sure as heck wasn’t going to do it without the help of a guy and his robot friends to provide color commentary… or lots of beer.

Again, though, this was actually a pretty darn good year for watching some pretty darn good films if you knew where to look – or if you had patience, as was often the case for me, as the most expensive theatre near me was usually the only one to carry certain films for a few weeks. (Thankfully, I, Tonya appears to be exiting that exclusivity window by this weekend, so yay!) It was a particularly good year for Disney, who apparently made so much money that they decided to assimilate Fox, which is great for their Marvel universe, Star Wars, and their bottom line, but probably also pretty detrimental to the film and television industry as a whole. … Ugh, there I go getting negative again! Seriously, though, it wasn’t a bad year at all, and I actually am grateful that my local theatres are showing more and more non-mainstream films like Lady Bird, Ingrid Goes West, and The Lost City of Z instead of making me wait for DVD, VOD, or just outright pay friggin’ $14.00 for a ticket.

So, yeah, like with previous years, I’ll be writing a series of articles covering both the films I watched and even the films I didn’t, which you will be seeing first. I won’t be able to cover all of those, of course, but I’ll try to cover the ones that standout to me and maybe even watch a few as I go along and throw them on the final lists of viewed films, even. The list of films I haven’t seen will be divided into three sections of roughly the same number of films each (ex: 25 films across January – May, 25 across June – October, and 25 across November – December). The lists of ilms I have seen will similarly be published in three parts: first a chronological list of films that were neither awful nor great, a ranked list of the worst films I saw, and, finally, a ranked and genre-categorized list of my favorite films of the year (because I don’t believe in making great sci-fi flicks, period dramas, indie comedies, and superhero flicks against one another unless it’s based on the level of dislike I had for them).

Here’s to hoping 2018 both doesn’t suck as much as 2017 while still providing just as many pleasant surprises, if not more.

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