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Star Wars: The Last Jedi

20 Dec, 2017

In keeping with tradition, I saw this movie with my sister. In their keeping with repeating the episode 4-7 story arch; this was darker than the previous movie, acting as an updated Empire Strikes Back. The movie had some rough movements of way-too-child-friendly CGI and supposed-to-be-heartwarming children pumping their fists in the air. But strong casting and scenes with real gravitas kept it solidly in serious-enough land. All in all, I really enjoyed it. I loved the development of the rebellion and the emphasis on teamwork, culture, and excellence through growth as opposed to destiny. It felt more like what I love about Star Trek than what I have always disliked about Star Wars.

Call Me By Your Name

05 Dec, 2017

This movie is emotional and challenging. It drops you into a nostalgic, idyllic setting; gives you likable and relatable characters; then lays out a slice of life narrative that just happens to meander through a minefield of sexual, social, ethical, and very human issues. It is one of those very rare movies that can work a cold, clinical think piece (ala Kubrick) and also a highly emotional and personal experience. It reminded me a lot of "Velvet Goldmine," which is about re-experiencing a time in music, this is about re-experiencing your first time falling in love. The movie presents scenes that you can just go over again and again in your mind. It is not haunting as much as it is asking your to re-experience the neuroticism of being a teenager in love, where you second guess every action, though, and glance. You don't just see a first love, it tries to get you to feel it. That said, it also presents some potentially troubling aspects of relationships, but never devolves into sensationalism or moral ambiguity.

Kinky Boots

21 Nov, 2017

Took the fam to see a heart warming musical about drag queens, fetish footwear, and economic development schemes for northern England – everybody had a good time. If you haven't heard of this by now, then you are not the kind of person to care. It does live up to the hype of just being a feel-good-time. From over the top song and dance numbers to some excellently laugh out loud acting, topped with just enough heart warming sentimentalism. You would have to be a grinch not to have a good time.

Thor: Ragnarok

11 Nov, 2017

By far the best of the series, and probably of all the Avenger side of the franchise. It was Kiwis for the win! (Seriously, why do most aliens sound like they are New Zealanders?) It kept the right tone of funny, bright, and serious. It is everything you want from a comic book movie – with some extra kiwi spice.

Murder on the Orient Express

04 Nov, 2017

Classic story, all-star cast, luxurious cinematography – all the usual suspects for a mildly entertaining diversion. It was gorgeous to watch; but all-in-all, bland. It was like very nice food at a very nice hotel, that had everything it was supposed to – but was very expected, bland, unexciting. Nothing about the movie was offensive, and maybe that was the problem. It felt like an expensive PBS Mystery episode.

Blade Runner 2049

07 Oct, 2017

As obtuse and as gorgeous as the first. It is one that i think I need to watch again, because a lot of the "clues" slipped past the first time. You cannot decide to loose yourself in the atmosphere, the characters, or the plot – so it is almost like trying to watch three shows at once.

Baby Driver

01 Oct, 2017

This tight movie had everything planned down to the beat – and it shows. Most movies are messes that they will fix in post-production. This movie demonstrates was good story boarding and planning can do. The plot is simplistic and some of the acting is questionable. Kevin Spacey should have a stomach ache from his deliciously over the top scenery chewing. But, every single shot was meaningful and moved the movie forward. It was amazing in its economy. The small cast and intimate camera work made it feel more like a great crime play on stage than bunch of chase scenes edited together – which was what I was excepting. It is a fun, well crafted bon bon of crime drama.

Atomic Blond

21 Sep, 2017

A grim, stylish, and shallow revisit to 80's cold war noir. The shots were haunting and the soundtrack was a delight. Theron and McAvoy give the movie the illusion of more depth than it really has, but I would stand it up to any James Bond. Just because she is a lady spy, she shouldn't be held to art house standards that Roger Moore and Sean Connery never were.

Kingsman: Golden Circle

10 Sep, 2017

Uh huh... this second installment returns for more of the same. Silly violence, crass humor, goofy gadgets, and a plot stretched over so many wholes that it almost evaporates. But hey, it is fun. Like the first, it doesn't event attempt to be believable. Unlike the first, the absolute gore and over the top gross outs are replaced by a darker, funnier version. The cast has chemistry and you like the people; so it is a fun rump with your dim witted, but good-time friends from yesteryear.

Angels in America Part 2: Perestroika

17 Aug, 2017

A depressing revisit to the 80's. It wasn't the 80's of Cyndi Lauper and shoulder pads, a time of neon colored innocence. It was the time of Regan and watching a nation silently condemn its unwanted to a mysterious plague. I was a remembrance of preachers and politicians explaining God's hatred. It was a surreal and hopeful look that this time would be survived by man, if not by our faith. A hope that we would rise above to never repeat. Watching this hope in light of the current world state was timely if not deeply saddening. At the best, you could say that the world is not getting worse. More realistically, you are forced to ask if we will ever learn?

Spider-Man: Homecoming

07 Jul, 2017

Out of all the Spider-Men and their ill-fated reboots, this one worked out the best. Mind you, that is not a super high bar. Sony's cooperation with Disney paid off with helpful cameos and a plot that wasn't riddled with telenovela style villains and plot lines. The younger spider-man and back to the basics story skipped a third retelling of his origin story (thank you) and moved onto watching a young Peter Parker trying to understand how to be a hero. Some heavy weight supporting actors gave the film a much needed gravitas. (Thank you Michael Keaton)

Wonder Woman

02 Jun, 2017

Literally the movie I have waited almost my whole life for; however, I had expected Lynda Carter (seriously, no cameo?!?) It was great. One of the better super hero movies to come in a long while. It is a shame that they will use it to prop up the rest of the flagging D.C. properties. Wonder Woman stands on her own.

Bottle Rocket

13 May, 2017

A sleeper classic from Wes Anderson. It was fun to re-watch it with Matt and Marita. It was blast back too the 90s – and not in a good way fashion wise. All the Anderson styling was in full effect.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

30 Apr, 2017

It was a fun second helping of the original – meaning that it wasn't that original. The first one had the excitement of not knowing what to expect. This was just what you expected, which was fun but not great.

Ghost in the Shell 2017

01 Apr, 2017

I knew this was going to be disappointing, but wow. Lower your expectations, then lower them again. The film is gorgeous. You could easily frame most of the shots. They do lovely recreate scenes from the original. The botched script was bad enough, then – spoiler – trying to pass it of as a prequel just makes it that much worse.

Don Juan of Soho

25 Mar, 2017

Caught the amazing David Tennant in this show. It was an amazing show in a very intimate venue. The show was a bit of a downer,but electrifying. David Tennant owned the audience from start to finish.

La La Land

15 Jan, 2017

It was funny, it was musical, it was toe tapping. It also was a lot more real that I expected.

La Soiree

08 Jan, 2017

This campy circus made a fun night of the last Christmas to be had in London. Nothing to cerebral, but plenty of laughs.

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

07 Jan, 2017

It was as glorious as I had hoped. Very enjoyable. The minimal setting and inventive narration turned it from a feel good about someone "special" to experiencing a special world through new eyes.

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