Movie Reviews

On my old blog I would “review” movies by pulling a bunch of ticket stubs out of my wallet and giving each movie a sentence and a rating 1-9.  On my new blog, that’s what I’m doing again.  Judging by the first one I pulled out, there are going to be a lot.

The Force Awakens – 9.1/10It was good enough to see twice in the theater.  This is an object lesson in how a plot isn’t everything.  We’ve seen this plot before, but the movie’s not the same, largely because the characters aren’t the same.  
Get Out – 
9.2/10 – What’s there to say without spoilers?  Go see it.
Logan – 8/10 – I hope you’re ready for a bit of the old ultraviolence.  Woo!
Kubo and the Two Strings – 9/10 – An odd, fantastical bit of animation.  Should have won the Oscar.  They always screw up the best animated feature.
Keanu – 9.1/10 – So hilarious I bought it.  On a fairly regular basis I go to quote the movie and stop short because it’s ephitastic.  Yes, we them Allentown…
The Big Short – 7.7/10 – This was cool but I didn’t go crazy for it.  Kudos to Adam McKay and company for the odd asides and what not!
Hail, Caesar! – Refuse to Rate – I want to watch it again.
Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them – 6.8/10 – It was fun, but I felt the plot meandered a bit.
Deadpool
– 8.8/10 – If you like dumb vulgarity – here be monsters.  I do.
Brooklyn – 8.1 – Brooklyn was a real sweetheart of a coming of age flick.  It was almost cloying, but managed to put real, grown-up, hard situations at the forefront.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – 6/10 – WTF kept my interest, but I have a real problem with almost-true stories unless the liberties they take don’t get in the way of what really happened.  
10 Cloverfield Lane -7.8/10 – This was a nice thriller.  I didn’t know to expect based on the trailer, and it was a real guessing game as to what was really happening.
Ran – 10/10 – It’s Ran; it’s one of the greats.  I had been procrastinating re-watching this for years, so it was Kismet that it was showing in the theater.  What I lost touch with over those years was what a kick in the gut the movie is.  Ooof.
Batman vs. Superman – 5/10 – Okay, this movie is dumb, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy myself.  But it’s dumb.  But it made me think of something.  Zack Snyder’s movies are so weird and hyper-stylized, that I think they could find a place.  That place is a 14 year old in the year 2030 coming across one of his movies.  The kid thinks, “this movie is bananas!! What were they thinking!? Are there more?”  And yes, 14 year old, there are more.  Start with Dawn of the Dead – it only gets weirder from there.  (This is related to the love I feel for the films of Paul W.S. Anderson.)  
Miles Ahead
– 7/10 – I enjoyed this, but then I heard someone say it’s B.S.  I need someone else to tell me what to think.
Midnight Special
– 7.4/10 – I wanted to love this as much as the director’s previous effort, Mud, but it didn’t quite get there.  I’ll have to watch it again though!
Chi-Raq
– 8.6/10 – I really enjoyed this.  I liked Nick Cannon’s rapping.  I liked Wesley Snipes.  And the story was of course wild.
Room – 7.1/10 – It was fine.
Creed – 8.6/10 – I think this brings the tally of worthwhile Rocky movies up to 3-4!  (Don’t get me wrong, I love Ivan Drago, but you know.)  Creed was a really great shift of focus for the series.
The Revenant – 8.9/10 – I didn’t even really want to see The Revenant.  All the drama about how hard it was to film was annoying to me.  But the adventure of it, the nature of it, the angst of it ended up enthralling me.  The Revenant probably isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth a shot!
The Conjuring 2 – 9/10 – I love these movies for reasons I can’t say without spoilers.  Here’s a minor one for The Conjuring 2 (skip ahead if you care).  They didn’t spend a lot of time with the back and forth of “this is really happening!”  “No, that’s crazy.”  Instead it’s clear to anyone who witnesses the house, that that thing is haunted!  The sequel matched the original.  (And as a final testament to how much I like these movies, I don’t particularly like either of the leads.)
Central Intellgience – 7.5/10 – I love Kevin Hart.  I love the Rock.  Why not?
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
– 9.3/10 – If it is adventure you seek, here be Wilderpeople
The Secret Life of Pets –  –
Ghostbusters
– 6.6/10 – This started off great, and had some good pieces, but watching it felt more like sitting on an amusement park ride that moves you through animatronic tableaux than witnessing an actual time in people’s lives.  I still liked it, but I wish it was better!
Manchester by the Sea
– 7/10 – Casey Affleck is sad.  Did he sexually harass women?  I don’t know!  Leave me alone.
La La Land
– 8.8/10 – I liked it more the second time than the first time.  Way back when The Artist was out and Glee was huge on T.V., I thought the industry was ripe for a new old-school musical.  I guess nobody was selling them though!  I hope there are more.  It doesn’t escape me that L.L.L. was overly pasty for a movie purportedly about jazz.  
Lion
– 7.5/10 – As a movie this seemed a little melodramatic, but hell’s bells, it’s a true story, so why not?  As for my issues with mostly true stories, the liberties taken in the story seem inocuous enough, and the real people were on board with the story.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Hidden Figures
– 9/10 – Once again I am contending with a mostly true story.  I feel like the liberties taken here were in putting people and events closer together than they actually were.  Plus the truly progressive (if not perfectly so, as the movie illustrates) fact of what really happened during this time at NASA can barely be overstated.  The story deserved this movie.  Looking forward to reading the source material.
Oscar Shorts, Live Action, 2017
– 8/10 – I don’t have the right kind of focus for short films, but I do well having them packed up and shown in the theater for me!  I liked all these.  I didn’t backflip for any of them though.  I was fine with the winner, Sing, though it seemed the MOST, which is often the recipe to win an Oscar.  (See Roger Ebert for an explanation of The Most.
Arrival
– 7.8/10 – The first conceit of Arrival was a mainstreaming of an old sci-fi mechanic.  Add in a “fun” twist, and good stuff!
Rogue One
– 8.4/10 – This seemed to get a real love it or hate it response.  It wasn’t revolutionary, but it hit all the right notes for me!
John Wick 2
– 8.9/10 – “Whoever comes, I’ll kill them all.”  It’s hard to make a sequel to a movie like John Wick, because you kind of have to turn the volume up.  A big part of the success of the original were in the non-violent moments, and there just wasn’t as much room for them in the sequel.  Still, it’s John Wick, and it worked! 

Not everything comes
when you’re prepared, or willing;
like springtime snow.