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Showing posts from June, 2018

The Incredibles 2 Review

Despite what I'm about to say in this review I feel kind of sorry for Incredibles 2 because it's a sequel to a popular Pixar movie with a huge fan following that began production a full decade after the initial film's release. No matter how good the film is there's no way it will ever be able to meet the exceptions of long waiting fans who have already conjured impossible standards in their own minds. This is what's known as the Duke Nukem Forever effect. Thankfully, Incredibles 2 isn't as cancerously bad as Forever was if only because the accounting department has it by the scrotum and won't let it step one toe out of line.

The film picks up directly where the first one left off (which kind of seems odd to me because this is like following the Indiana Jones crew after they rode off into the sunset in The Last Crusade) in the middle of an action scene with a random villain who we never see again. After inadvertently causing mass destruction to the city the …

The Grey Review

Between this film and Where the Wild Things Are I'm getting really sick of having conflicting opinions about movies I know are basically good. Both are superbly well-made and obviously crafted from a very personal place on the part of their directors and yet I find in both of them a barrier to entry that lets me say that they're spectacular. In the case of The Grey, a survival action-thriller from writer/director Joe Carnahan, that barrier to the entryway of greatness is the entire second half of the film.

However, before diving in to that very dramatic statement let's look at the film's premise and its merits. Ottway (Liam Neeson) lives in an Alaskan oil refinery where he uses his considerable skills as a hunter to keep the workers safe from predators. When a plane he and several of the workers were on crashes in the middle of the frigid Canadian wilderness Ottway must keep the small group of survivors alive from not only the elements, but from a vicious pack of wolve…

Where the Wild Things Are Review

Over the past nine years since its release Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are has gone from the target of skepticism of most audiences and fans of the book to the little movie that could, seen as an under-appreciated gem that managed to keep the original spirit of Maurice Sendak's classic children's book while also being its own profound statement on childhood. While I consider myself to be an unofficial member of the deeper thinking branch of the film lover's community I can't get to the point where I say that I like Where the Wild Things Are or even that I see how it could be an underrated classic in its own right.

Max (Max Records) is a lonely, emotionally distraught young boy begins to feel increasingly at odds with reality as his sister has acquired a new group of friends and his mother has found a new boyfriend to, in his mind, replace his absentee father. After an angry blowout with his mom, Max runs away through the woods and eventually finds a boat th…

Upgrade Review

Upgrade is a film I simultaneously expected and yet didn't see coming from the writer/director of the Saw franchise. It has the upper-tier grindhouse acting and production design I've come to expect from Blumhouse Productions and has the brutality and gore I would've expected from Leigh Whannell, but at the same time it's much darker than I expected from a summer action movie and actually has one or two really good ideas in its head instead being a mindless popcorn flick. It's just a shame that those good ideas are introduced in the last two minutes of the film.

Some time in the near future (far enough for us to have cars that drive themselves and cyborg implants but not far enough that everything doesn't look exactly like an early 21st century city), working class joe Grey (Logan Marshall-Green) and his wife are involved in a car accident/mugging. After his wife is killed and he is paralyzed, Grey is approached by a reclusive billionaire who offers him a micro…