Sunday, May 31, 2015

Honestly, I'm not sure there's a time in living memory when America was particularly keen on the idea of jetpacks


The Rocketeer is entertainment that's as programmatic as it could possibly be, but (importantly) it is still entertaining.  (Plus Timothy Dalton is in it, and he was in Flash Gordon!)

Directed by Joe Johnston
Written by Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, and William Dear (based on the comic book by Dave Stevens)
With Billy Campbell (Cliff Secord), Jennifer Connelly (Jenny), Terry O'Quinn (Howard Hughes), Alan Arkin (Peevy), Paul Sorvino (Eddie Valentine), Tiny Ron (Lothar), and Timothy Dalton (Neville Sinclair)

Spoiler alert: high

Monday, May 25, 2015

Things that came, then went


Tomorrowland is a pretty decent kids' adventure that serves, in grand old Brad Bird tradition, as some halfway-effective propaganda for his idiosyncratic politics as well.

Directed by Brad Bird
Written by Damon Lindelof, Jeff Jensen, and Brad Bird
With Britt Robertson (Casey Newton), Raffey Cassidy (Athena), George Clooney (Frank Walker), and Hugh Laurie (David Nix)

Spoiler alert: I say moderate, but it might be high if you're a little slow on the uptake

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Never give a trucker an even break


Duel is the best TV movie ever made by a first-time film director in 13 days with practically no dialogue that isn't one guy talking to himself.  More importantly, it's also one of the supreme chase movies of all time.  (Plus, it has about thirty posters and all of them are just awesome.)

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by Richard Matheson (based on the short story)
With Dennis Weaver ft. Dale Van Sickle (David Mann) and Cary Loftin (The Truck Driver)

Spoiler alert: severe

Sunday, May 17, 2015

War and traffic accidents


Gosh, I feel like a heretic just saying it's not the best film ever made.

Directed by George Miller
Written by Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris, and George Miller
With Tom Hardy (Max Rockatansky), Charlize Theron (Imperator Furiosa), Nicholas Hoult (Nux), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Splendid), Zoe Kravitz (Toast the Knowing), Riley Keough (Capable), Abbey Lee (The Dag), Courtney Eaton (Cheedo the Fragile), Melissa Jaffer (The Keeper of the Seeds), Megan Gale (The Valkyrie), and Hugh Keays-Byrne (The Immortan Joe)

Spoiler alert: mild

Friday, May 8, 2015

This mutation is not remotely groovy


You say you've been searching for a paranormal romance with an emotional arc even less effective than The Twilight Saga's, while embodying even more repulsive ideas about how people should behave?  Well, have I got the movie for you!

2014 (for some)/2015 (for others)
Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
Written by Justin Benson
With Lou Taylor Pucci (Evan) and Nadia Hilker (Louise)

Spoiler alert: moderate then high, with a warning

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ultron: The Stark Project


The summers of the 21st century have taught me one thing above all: America loves nothing moreabsolutely nothing morethan watching colorful superhumans churn through armies of gray, faceless enemies.  And that's basically fine, I guess, although the churning here could stand to be more visually interesting and narratively coherent, orif that's simply impossiblehow about shorter?  I think we could all live with "shorter."  Am I the crazy one?

Written and directed by Joss Whedon (based on the comic books by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby)
With Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Mark Ruffalo (Dr. Bruce Banner/the Hulk), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch), and James Spader (Ultron)

Spoiler alert: moderate