The Predator (***1/2) gets chopped up

The Predator is enjoyable, but it sure is fast, hard and choppy. Many of the scenes that might help build pull the story along for the slow and dimwitted are excised in favor of seeing people get sliced in half and repeatedly skewered by those massive retractable claws. Whether it's a fair trade or not depends on how many times you need to see the same time of exposition that Black seems to abhor.

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The NuN (***): Can’t quite live up to its incredible promise.

There are some good moments here, but in general, this film doesn't measure up to any of the previous efforts of Hardy or the Conjuring films. It feels like a placeholder, when it is clear the crowds that are going to swarm to this film expected a tentpole. 

Golden Sombrero: The descent into decent – Cameron Crowe and Elizabethtown (**1/2)

The film doesn't fail big. It only does so politely. 

Forgotten Gem? – 2001: A Space Odyssey at 50 in IMAX

Is this one of my favorite films? Not by a long shot. It's Kubrick's finest 142 minutes though, and it definitely needs to be experienced by everyone at least once. Just make sure the screen is large enough to encompass what's great about it, and make sure your stereo dulls the piercingly high register. This film will be in 350 IMAX theaters for only one week, starting August 24. If you were ever curious, take the time to see it now.

Alpha (**) Doesn’t have a dog in the hunt

This film will not stick with me too much beyond this week, to be sure. It's just another approximation of stuff we'll never be able to prove.  Hughes might want to stick with future apocalypse stuff like The Book of Eli, since most of his work seems to be based on stuff placed for effect more than researched. At least the future hasn't occurred for us to see he's kind of playing us for effect.

Crazy Rich Asians (***1/2) leaves you wanting…happily

Like anything, though, it's a vote to see better films of a various cultures when one supports a variety of films from those different cultures. I enjoyed learning a bit about the history of Singapore and I look forward to discovering more. At some point, perhaps we'll get more epic stories. For now, I will settle for being entertained, a bit more educated...and happy.

Adams and Jefferson on Movies: Gene Hackman

  CoolPapaE: When I heard the recent announcement that Robert Redford was retiring from acting, I thought, what better time than now for us to discuss one of the best actors of his generation: Gene Hackman. Of course you agreed. Hackman has been a favorite of yours, mine and Roger Ebert as far back as … Continue reading Adams and Jefferson on Movies: Gene Hackman

Slender Man (*1/2) scares are between slim and none

Ultimately, this is a light scare of a film, made for young-ish teenage girls who may have heard that Slender Man is likely fake but they're still not sure about that Ouija Board.

The Meg (**) – Internationally Bad

Nothing I say here will likely prevent you from seeing this film. That's fine. It works sort of hard sometimes (very few, really) to entertain. It is definitely a likable venture. If I can save you a few bucks on the Imax price, my job is done. If I had run out of steam on this review a little earlier, I probably could have strengthened the script. I would need my kids to fix the special effects, though.

Along with the Gods: The 49 Days Exceeds Every Expectation (*****)

"The greatness of this series is in its ability to mix action, emotion, mythology and philosophy effortlessly and quite earnestly. Whether one believes in the premise, we understand that the characters believe it. This makes it as important to us as it is to them. "