Saturday, June 30, 2018

Send in the clones


Seriously, why is it so hard to take $200 million and turn it into a good movie about dinosaurs?  Oh, because they're not even making movies about dinosaurs anymore.  If I wanted to watch a movie about made-up monsters, I have other, much better options; and hence Fallen Kingdom follows up on Jurassic World to surrender even more of what granted their predecessors their power, and, yes, their occasional sense of holiness, even when they were at their worst.

Directed by J.A. Bayona
Written by Derek Connelly and Colin Trevorrow
With Chris Pratt (Owen Grady), Bryce Dallas Howard (Claire Dearing), Daniella Pinada (Zia Rodriguez), Justice Smith (Franklin Webb), James Cromwell (Benjamin Lockwood), Isabella Sermon (Maisie Lockwood), Toby Jones (Eversol), Ted Levine (Ken Wheatley), BD Wong (Dr. Henry Wu), and Rafe Spall (Eli Mills)

Spoiler alert: moderateish, or high, if you actually are as stupid as the movie thinks you are

Monday, June 25, 2018

Cardboard Science: Some form of super-carrot


It's not often that the forerunner of a trend is actually one of its best examples, but then there's The Thing From Another World.

Directed by Christian Nyby and/or Howard Hawks
Written by Charles Lederer, Ben Hecht, and Howard Hawks (based on the story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell Jr.)
With Kenneth Tobey (Capt. Patrick Hendry), Margaret Sheridan (Nikki Nicholson), Douglas Spencer (Ned Scott), Robert Cornthwaite (Dr. Arthur Carrington), and James Arness (The Thing)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Sunday, June 17, 2018

You'll believe a woman can stretch


Often, it's not so great when a sequel does the exact same thing as the original, only bigger.  Fortunately, Pixar sequels remember to do it better, too.

Written and directed by Brad Bird
With Holly Hunter (Helen "Elastigirl" Parr), Craig T. Nelson (Bob "Mr. Incredible" Parr), Sarah Vowell (Violet Parr), Huck Milner (Dashiell "Dash" Parr), Samuel L. Jackson (Lucius "Frozone" Best), Brad Bird (Edna Mode), John Ratzenberger (The Underminer), Bob Odenkirk (Winston Deavor), and Catherine Keener (Evelyn Deavor)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

But I'm looking even more forward to Ocean's One, which will just be a really flashy, really fun liquor store robbery


Heist flicks typically don't have extended fourth acts for a very good reason, as Ocean's Eight demonstrates; but those first three acts are such a great time at the movies that it doesn't matter as much as it should.

Directed by Gary Ross
Written by Olivia Milch and Gary Ross
With Sandra Bullock (Debbie Ocean), Cate Blanchett (Lou), Mindy Kaling (Amita), Helena Bonham Carter (Rose Weil), Sarah Paulson (Tammy), Nora Lum Ying (Constance), Rihanna ("Nine Ball"), Anne Hathaway (Daphne Kluger), James Corden (John Frazier), and Richard Armitage (Claude Becker)

Spoiler alert: mild, but that asterisked footnote does contain a somewhat severe spoiler

Monday, June 4, 2018

The young Han Solo chronicles


This movie is about the reward its hero received for believing in something; in a flawless example of form following function, Solo teaches its audience not to misplace its faith so easily, too.

Directed by Ron Howard
"Executive produced" by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the poor bastards
Written by Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan
With Alden Ehrenreich (Han Solo), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Emilia Clarke (Qi'ra), Woody Harrelson (Tobias Beckett), Thandie Newton (Val), Jon Favreau (Rio Durant), Donald Glover (Lando Calrissian), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (L3-37), Linda Hunt (Lady Proxima), and Paul Bettany (Dryden Voss)

Spoiler alert: high