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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A Wrinkle in Time (***) is best when it avoids fawning

#wrinkleintime "This is not an indictment of the talent of Ava as a director. It's not that she faded this time round. There was probably enough pressure on her shoulders covering this well liked children's book. To make her have to maneuver around the albatross is obviously a bridge too far, even if she'll never publicly admit it."

Wonder Woman (****1/2): It’s about what you believe

Gadot (through Jenkins) hits every destination in the path on the super hero journey. She shows more range than most are allowed when they wear ridiculous outfits. Hers is a fully fleshed and feeling character that uses the emotions on her sleeve as a strength of her character. She acts as a passenger of the story when necessary, but when action is required, she literally steps onto the field and changes fate, rather than surrender to it.

Hell or High Water (****1/2) is a bummer, well played

Hell or High Water - 2016 Director David Mackenzie Screenplay Taylor Sheridan Starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham, Katy Mixon, Marin Ireland "The things we do for our kids, huh?" Two brothers seeking vengeance on a bank that tried to take everything from their mother. A Texas Ranger on the verge of retirement out for one last adventure … Continue reading Hell or High Water (****1/2) is a bummer, well played

Star Trek Beyond (****) feels like films before

There is an old ship, that lay dormant for years that is discovered in the midst of the chaotic pace. That ship has a story that is only touched upon for purposes of pushing forward with the action at hand. How and why that ship was there for so long is what I wonder about as the last act of the film takes place. What happened to its survivors? They tell you what they want you to know. It would be more interesting to find out more about their story.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit needs to retire

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - 2014 Director Kenneth Branagh Starring Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh, Keira Knightley Screenplay Adam Cozad, David Koepp based on characters created by Tom Clancy Once upon a time, this was a good series looking to become great.  About the moment Harrison Ford offered up a check from the U.S. Government to purchase a used Helicopter, it … Continue reading Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit needs to retire

Star Trek Into Darkness: Going where they’ve gone before

Star Trek Into Darkness - 2013 Director J.J. Abrams Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Alice Eve, Peter Weller, Noel Clarke, Nazneen Contractor Screenplay by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof One of my favorite aspects to the Star Trek reboot (my very first … Continue reading Star Trek Into Darkness: Going where they’ve gone before

People Like Us is not quite like us, but it is getting there.

People Like Us - 2012 Director Alex Kurtzman Starring Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jon Favreau, Philip Baker Hall, Michael Hall D'Addario, Mark Duplass Screenplay Roberto Orci, Bobby Cohen, Clayton Townshend There is a scene near the beginning of People Like Us when we find out about the father of  Sam (Pine) for the first time. … Continue reading People Like Us is not quite like us, but it is getting there.

This Means War is way better than the trailer

This Means War - 2012 Directed by McG Starring Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon, Til Schweiger, Chelsea Handler, Angela Bassett Screenplay by Timothy Dowling, Simon Kinberg The weakest part of any screenplay is when one uses words for exposition when actions could do it much more effectively.  Lines like "This is a covert exercise" and "You know … Continue reading This Means War is way better than the trailer