Category Archives: movie review

Movie Review: The Cloverfield Paradox (2018) *A Paradoxical Slog*

Ziyi Zhang and Daniel Bruhl in The Cloverfield Paradox
In an era where movies are heralded and marketed years in advance, the Cloverfield franchise is an outlier as the films tend to drop fully formed out of the blue with little to no warning.  However, even for this franchise, it was a surprise during Superbowl LII to learn that the third film in the franchise was done, was being released on Netflix, and would be ready for streaming as soon as the game was complete.  10 Cloverfield Lane was one of the best surprises in recent years, so I was hoping that, despite Netflix’s touch with movies, the sci-fi anthology franchise would continue its hot streak.  That….is unfortunately not what happens in The Cloverfield Paradox. Continue reading Movie Review: The Cloverfield Paradox (2018) *A Paradoxical Slog*

Movie Review: Black Panther (2018) *All Hail The King!!!*

Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther
How do you balance the safety of the few versus obligations to the many?  Should the sins of the past be buried or brought to light?  How can a good man be a good king?  Black Panther is not just another comic book film or an enjoyable MCU installment.  Director Ryan Coogler has established in T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) a complex, layered, admirable monarch.  Black Panther transcends being “just another comic book movie” in the way Wonder Woman did last year.  It’s culturally relevant, brilliantly imaginative, groundbreaking, challenging, and in its 18th installment the Marvel Cinematic Universe has produced its best film yet. Continue reading Movie Review: Black Panther (2018) *All Hail The King!!!*

Movie Review: The Shape of Water (2017) *Del Toro Returns to Fairy Tales*

Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water
Most people think fairy tales are for children, and maybe they are in modern times but that was never their intent.  Fairy tales, the Grimm kind, were morality plays full of fear, violence, and horror.  Guillermo del Toro started his career making these kinds of fairy tales with his early films like Chronos, The Devil’s Backbone, and his masterpiece: Pan’s Labyrinth (even the Hellboy films have elements of fairy tale storytelling to them).  The Shape of Water is del Toro’s return to this style of storytelling after a decade, and he’s been showered with critical acclaim.  However, despite being a technically perfectly made motion picture, The Shape of Water is no Pan, and lacks the storytelling magic del Toro usually brings to a film. Continue reading Movie Review: The Shape of Water (2017) *Del Toro Returns to Fairy Tales*

Movie Review: The Post (2017) *Spielberg Fumbles a Golden Opportunity*

Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post
The Post has everything going for it.  It has the best actor and actress of the last 40 years in Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.  The best composer of all-time in John Williams.  A veteran director of serious subjects and blockbusters in the legendary Steven Spielberg.  All coming together around an issue that is more relevant today than it has been at any time since the Pentagon Papers incident.  Since the beginning of the current administration the issue of news, fake news, “alternative facts”, and what the media can publish and who can publish it has been front and center nightly.  So how, with all this going for it, is The Post is a dull, muddled mess?

Continue reading Movie Review: The Post (2017) *Spielberg Fumbles a Golden Opportunity*

Top 5: Scenes from The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers (IMDB Top 250 #15)

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Every other month, we take a look at a movie from the Internet Movie Database’s List of the TOP 250 FILMS OF ALL-TIME.  These are movies that transcend a simple “My Favorite Scene” column.  These are movies that are hard to just pry five gems from, but we do and examine the film overall.  We’re on our fifteenth installment in this series.  Click on the link here to check out previous installments from #1 The Shawshank Redemption to #14 Inception.

In planned trilogies, middle chapters are the trickiest.  They don’t have a beginning or an end.  They tend to be the darkest night before the dawn of the finale, but it’s possible to go too dark.  You can lose the momentum of your opening and set up narrative hurdles for the finale that are impossible to overcome.  A perfect bridge movie is rare, and with the possible exception of The Empire Strikes Back, the best one ever made is The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Continue reading Top 5: Scenes from The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers (IMDB Top 250 #15)