From Braveheart to the Outlaw King

Outlaw King will not be considered an equal bookend to Braveheart's first part of the story of the Scottish Rebellion, but it should not be considered a failure by Mackenzie. The history presented is debatable, but it's close enough to warrant some nice scenes and a series of muddy battles.

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (***) is just a Tetris piece

Fantastic Beasts - The Crimes of Grindelwald - 2018 Director David Yates Screenplay by J.K. Rowling Starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Carmen Ejogo, Claudia Kim, William Nadylam, Kevin Guthrie, Jude Law, Johnny Depp The first film in this second Potterverse series was a pleasant surprise. There were several characters as intelligent as Hermoine, none as dumb as … Continue reading Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (***) is just a Tetris piece

The Girl In The Spider’s Web (***1/2) Returns to the scene

"Overall, the film is a winner, but barely. The lack of subtlety hurts when one can easily determine when they can step out to take a leak because they know the moments and plot points instinctively. If they can find a way to keep it all a mystery, that'd be a real treat."

Christopher Robin (****): If Hook were a good movie…

The sad fact is that the film can only end up in a boardroom, where stuffy old British men find in a few minutes what we've known all movie. I have no intention of keeping any of those aspects of the film in my mind. Instead, I will cradle memories of Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Owl and Rabbit in my mind. 

Overlord (****) is adrenalized with righteousness

#overlord "There are several cool moments in this film that feel borrowed from other films. This doesn't diminish their enjoyability. Avery's ability to mix sight and sound is jarringly good most of the time. Whether this can be replicated in a home theater depends on your system, The acting of Adepo and Russell push beyond the limits of their characters as presented in the script. The combination creates an enjoyable and fresh feeling film that treads delicately over occupied territory on its way to a brutal, but successful mission."

Bohemian Rhapsody (***1/2) – Someone Still Loves You

As it is, Malek is remarkable. He does his job with such panache every viewer leaves the film loving Mercury and his band. Pushing through the "get to the show" mentality of the last act that would hamstring most performers, we get a genuine sense of who Mercury is as a person for the little things. In this way, ultimately, this very flawed film succeeds. If he's not nominated for an Oscar, I will just consider it another typical year in which the best we see gets forgotten.

Hunter Killer (***) is obvious and likable

Let's be honest. It's not a tremendous work of art that Marsh, Butler and co. have produced here. There are no nominations or awards forthcoming. What Hunter Killer does have, though, is enjoyability on a completely masculine scale. It's the kind of film I might have watched with my dad when he was alive. It deserves respect for being competent, entertaining and earnest to a fault, if not original.

Halloween 2018 (*1/2) serves no purpose

Michael Myers has haunted me for years in my sleep. Even before I knew who Freddy Kruger was. One film has sustained me this long, even though they clearly have never figured out how to expand on the effect. 

Netflix The Haunting of Hill House (*****): We water that seed

The Haunting of Hill House - 2018 Director Mike Flanagan Teleplay Flanagan, Liz Phang, Scott Kosar, Merideth Averill, Jeff Howard, Charise Castro Smith, Rebecca Klingel based on the book by Shirley Jackson Starring Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Elizabeth Reaser, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, Victoria Pedretti, Lulu Wilson, Mckenna Grace, Paxton Singleton, Julian Hilliard, Violet McGraw, Timothy Hutton, Robert Longstreet, Catherine Parker Mike Flanigan has worked beyond … Continue reading Netflix The Haunting of Hill House (*****): We water that seed

First Man in IMAX (****1/2) Soul Deep in Space

#FirstMan "This film is necessary for one to understand the reach of humans. From out of the dark of a life lost so young, hope springs so forcefully. It's more than a flag that we put on that moon. It's all of our hopes and dreams."