Sunday, March 18, 2018

The wound may be where the light enters you, but isn't that kind of gross?


Not the complete misfire it's been reported as, it's not exactly the best possible version of itself, either.

Directed by Ava DuVernay
Written by Jeff Stockwell and Jennifer Lee (based on the novel by Madeleine L'Engle)
With Storm Reid (Meg Murry), Deric McCabe (Charles Wallace Murry), Levi Miller (Calvin O'Keefe), Chris Pine (Dr. Alex Murry), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Kate Murry), Oprah Winfrey (Mrs. Which), Mindy Kaling (Mrs. Who), Reese Witherspoon (Mrs. Whatsit), Zach Galifianakis (the Happy Medium), Michael Pena (Red), and David Oyelowo (the IT)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Duncan Jones, part II: Stranger on a train


As it's hardly worth reviewing a twist-heavy film that's almost seven years old now without going into the twists and how well they play, I'm not going to hesitate to spoil Source Code, at least in its broader strokes.  And yet if you've somehow not seen it (and, while it was a modest hit, I suppose that's not even that unlikely), or, better yet, if you've never even heard of it, take this advice: don't read another word about it, and just watch it.  Whatever problems its third act embodies, and whatever cautious, pointless discussions of its strengths we might've had otherwise, Source Code remains a trippy, mindfucky blast, deserving of a much higher profile than it seems to have.  And that's as good a short review as any.

Directed by Duncan Jones
Written by Ben Ripley
With Jake Gyllenhaal (Capt. Coulter Stevens), Michelle Monaghan (Christina Warren), Vera Farmiga (Capt. Colleen Goodwin), and Jeffrey Wright (Dr. Rutledge)

Spoiler alert: high

Monday, March 5, 2018

No cure for cancer


No, I've never seen Stalker.  It is very long and Russian, and what makes you think these are selling points?  Annihilation, meanwhile, is frustrating, deeply so, but in some respects it is amazing, and it is just two hours long.

Written and directed by Alex Garland (based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer)
With Natalie Portman (Lena), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Dr. Ventress), Tessa Thompson (Josie), Tuva Novotny (Cass), Gina Rodriguez (Anya), and Oscar Isaac (Kane)

Spoiler alert: mild