Category Archives: Review

Movie Review: Get Out (2017) “An Instant Classic That Defies Categorization”

Daniel Kaluuya

I know this comes a bit late (I’m trying to catch up on my reviewing), but if you haven’t already gotten out to see Get Out, you need to get out to see Get Out posthaste.  That’s largely all I’m going to say about the movie itself.  Now…..get out. Continue reading Movie Review: Get Out (2017) “An Instant Classic That Defies Categorization”

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017) “Tale Told Nearly As Well As Last Time”

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast was the most critically acclaimed animated Disney feature since Snow White, so the live-action turn was going to get incredible scrutiny even before Jon Favreau made a better Jungle Book than either the Disney animated film or the Kipling books.  So whomever followed that was going to have a high bar to clear or even match, and when it was followed by Beauty and the Beast, the early praise and jaw-dropping trailers we’d been seeing for nearly a year have experienced a load of critical backlash in the last month.  It IS a very difficult movie to review and compare to the original, but this is not the 70% film Rotten Tomatoes currently rates it at.  While this live action version of Beauty and the Beast does not reach the perfection of the 1991 film, it is the second fantastic musical we’ve had released for the screen in three months (at some point I may have to stop saying I hate musicals).  While comparisons can’t be avoided, and there are some pitfalls, Beauty and the Beast continues a stream of quality re-imaginings of Disney’s animated works, presenting an absolutely gorgeous, moving, film. Continue reading Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017) “Tale Told Nearly As Well As Last Time”

Movie Review: The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) “Good, but not Awesome.”

lbm-70910-thumbs

2014’s The LEGO Movie may be the most absolutely delighted I have been by any film since starting this site, and I named it my Movie of the Year.  The film was beloved by many, so naturally now there is an entire slew of LEGO films on the way (two this year alone).  The first features the breakout star of The LEGO Movie‘s supporting cast: Will Arnett’s Batman.  Is it the awesomeness of The LEGO Movie or that the trailers seemed to promise?  No.  Sadly, in that respect, it’s a bit of a disappointment, but that doesn’t mean The LEGO Batman Movie is not a quality outing into the LEGOverse. Continue reading Movie Review: The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) “Good, but not Awesome.”

Movie Review: Split (2017) “Is the Nightfall Over?”

James McAvoy, Split, Anya Taylor Joy

Once upon a time, in 1999, a remarkable, astounding, amazing film called The Sixth Sense came out and blew the collective minds of the world.  The director was a wunderkind named M. Night Shaymalan.  Night followed The Sixth Sense with Unbreakable, which did not get near the critical acclaim and box office The Sixth Sense did, but nothing was going to do that.  His first film turned into a global phenomenon.  Unbreakable is, in many ways, heavily influential to the grounded reality of the tack comic book movies took when that era began around the same time.  Night’s third film, Signs, did a little better than Unbreakable, but isn’t half the film.  Then came the fall.  Horrible film after horrible film after horrible film followed Signs.  Studios would still throw $100 million budgets at him hoping that he could turn it around, but things digressed to the point where his name was such an audience deterrent that it was removed from promotional posters.  I have been reluctant to pay money and go to the theater to see Split.  The film, made for only $9 million, won the box office three weeks in a row, generated great word-of-mouth, so I finally gave in and went and saw my first M. Night Shaymalan film in the theater since The Village (aka THE BEGINNING OF THE FALL).  So is he back?  I think he just might be.  Split is no home run, but it’s only a little below Signs in his canon and, like his best films, the ending was not only a mind-blower, it promises an exciting future. Continue reading Movie Review: Split (2017) “Is the Nightfall Over?”

Movie Review: John Wick Chapter 2 “A Ballet of Blood”

Keanu Reeves, John Wick Chapter 2

I think the best compliment you can give a sequel is not only is it a better film than the one it follows, but it makes that original film better in retrospect.  I was not an enormous fan of John Wick when it came out (you can read my underwhelmed review here, which I would now probably bump up several points).  I think it was a combination of it being one of those cult movies that gets overhyped  by the time it gets to you and you can no longer be pleasantly surprised along with some thematic material in John’s origin that whacks certain personal buttons with me (btw, we’ll try to stay spoiler free on Chapter 2, but if you read on, I’m assuming you saw the first film).  John Wick Chapter 2 takes everything that worked in the first film, amps it to 11, and ends up being a much better movie that earns both its own existence and the inevitable Chapter 3 to come. Continue reading Movie Review: John Wick Chapter 2 “A Ballet of Blood”