This Week in Movies – May 19, 2017

Yeah, I missed a week. But only one, so I suppose we’re getting better.

Small update, too, especially considering it covers a fortnight. The next one will be a big one, though, so don’t worry about that.

First up, a pair of Netflix Original movies. Sand Castle is a war drama loosely based on the real-life experiences of the screenwriter, Chris Roessner, who joined the Army Reserves to help pay for college – two months before 9/11. It’s okay, but nothing special. Small Crimes, likewise, is mostly okay, but its cynical attitude and murky sensibility ensure it’s a little less enjoyable than even an average movie like Sand Castle.

Next, Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, filmed entirely in a single location and revolving entirely around one, long gunfight, is really enjoyable for what it is. Not as weird or as memorable as Wheatley and Amy Jump’s other stuff, but I don’t think it suffers for that too much.

And, finally, Dead Awake, a horror movie about sleep paralysis that is so boring and derivative that it could very well put you to sleep. Irony!

Like I said, next week’s entry will be a substantial one. If I bother to write it, obviously.

This Week in Movies – May 05 2017

Yeah, I know. Been a while.

The irony, of course, is that I only started this weekly feature to give my poor, neglected personal site something resembling regular updates, and I’ve managed to fuck that up by missing the last two weeks. I resolve to do better, of course, but in the meantime, maybe subscribe to Ready, Steady, Cut!, where I publish these reviews. That way you won’t miss any when I inevitably forget to write next week’s entry.

Anyway. Big update, this, given it’s covering everything from the fourteenth of April, so let’s get on with it.

First up, Rings, which is shit.

Similar, but much, much better, is The Autopsy of Jane Doe, which is a small-scale, low-budget affair that you should definitely check out if you’re genre-savvy.

Speaking of genre, Sleepless is the latest entry in what I like to call “dad to the rescue” movies. It’s a so-so vehicle for Jamie Foxx, who’s aging gracefully, but nothing more than that.

Also so-so is Life, a flagrant Alien knock-off set aboard the International Space Station and starring Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, and some other people. Wait for Alien: Covenant later this month.

While you’re waiting, watch Get Out. I know I came to this one a little bit late and I’m mostly preaching to the choir, but seriously – this is a modern genre classic, and will almost certainly feature in my top ten of the year.

Fate of the Furious is… mostly okay. It’s still perfectly enjoyable, but it’s certainly overlong, and something is lost without the presence of the late Paul Walker. Worth watching if you’re into the franchise, but I wouldn’t go out of your way.

It’s certainly a better time than Sandy Wexler, though. Adam Sandler’s latest Netflix-exclusive abomination is a slight step up from his previous two, which means it’s still terrible.

Surprisingly not-terrible is Dean Israelite’s Power Rangers. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie and I think you might be, too.

Less surprising: The Boss Baby. I didn’t care for it.

Luckily, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 mostly lived up to my (admittedly high) expectations. It’s about as good as the first one, just in a slightly different way.

And, finally, Colossal. It’s fantastic.

In other news: I’ve transferred my series on the DC animated originals from here, where it originated, to Ready, Steady, Cut!, where it will continue. Here’s a link to the contents page.

See you next week. Maybe.

This Week In Movies: Apr 14 2017

So, you may or may not have heard about my new gig as the chief film critic over at Ready, Steady, Cut! – it isn’t as though I’ve been tweeting about it near-constantly, so it might have escaped your attention. (I’ve been tweeting about it near-constantly.)

From now on, you can find all of my new (and old) movie reviews over there; several each week, in fact. And with that in mind, every Friday, I’m going to be writing one of these posts that sums up what I’ve covered over there, and gives you some helpful links to click if you’d like to go and read them. (Please do.)

First up was the spectacularly mediocre Ghost in the Shell. Putting aside all the controversy about Hollywood “whitewashing” and suchlike, the movie was bang-average in almost every way besides the visuals. I’d have bumped up the score a little for that, but the tone-deaf third-act plot twist lost it a point. It’s incredibly average.

(We also recorded a podcast episode about Ghost in the Shell, which is mostly us struggling to find interesting things to say about something so uninteresting, but you can hear me rant about the “whitewashing” on there, and find out why, for once, I actually think there’s some validity to it.)

Kong: Skull Island, on the other hand, turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. Admittedly I mostly expected to like it and ended up mostly liking it, but as far as creature-features go this is an extremely distinguished variety with a solid cast and some seriously fun set-pieces. Go and see this.

Don’t go and see A Cure for Wellness, though, unless for some reason you have a peculiar fondness for eels. Look, I know, I’m supposed to like this, and I kind of understand why some other people do (the technical filmmaking is exquisite, if nothing else.) But I really didn’t care for it at all: I found it rote, predictable, boring, overlong, and generally unpleasant.

As for Beauty and the Beastit was fine. Pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a live-action remake of Disney’s most beloved animated feature. It retains the same spirit, but a little something is lost in the translation.

That’s it for the this week. Please check out Ready, Steady, Cut! if you have the time (and if you subscribe to me – subscribe to them. It’s mostly just more of me.) This is a burgeoning project that we’re very fond of and excited by, and we’d like you to be a part of it.

See you next week.