• Another Round

    Another Round

    ★★★★

    I probably took all the wrong lessons from this, but by the end I wanted a(nother) beer and also had a big crush on Mads Mikkelsen.

    Seriously though, this movie was richer, deeper, and much more fun than I expected. Mads shines but so does the entire main quartet of high school teachers, experimenting with a "scientific" approach to maintaining the ideal level of intoxication all day to improve their energy and commitment at work, their interpersonal relationships, and their…

  • Non-Stop

    Non-Stop

    ★★½

    less Taken on a plane and more Hitchcock on meth

    That's what I said last time and honestly I can't think of any better way to describe this Angry Dad thriller on a plane. Wife wanted to revisit (seriously she's got a Liam Neeson problem) and well, even when he's in something bad, it's usually fun anyway.

  • Time

    Time

    ★★★

    Going in, I should say that it's important to note that I think our current carceral system needs to be demolished, that going by the clear evidence of decades of history, it not only does not work as "intended" (as a deterrent to crime) but it is slowly being integrated into the wider economy as a for-profit system. Holding human beings in prison should never be motivated by profit. But even without this latest wrinkle, our system has been proven…

  • Love and Monsters

    Love and Monsters

    ★★★½

    I'm fairly certain this is my dog's favorite movie.

    So, it's yet another post apocalyptic teen adventure, but Love and Monsters feels like it was made with love, with a real-deal sense of fun and a refreshing lack of corporate cynicism. The script isn't amazing but it does the work to give our main character a full arc as he crosses the country and has to get his shit together or die. Even better, it pays off the lost love…

  • Titanic

    Titanic

    ★★★★

    Isn't it weird that our culture decided that Titanic was bad only because young women were particularly vocal about loving it? I was 15 when it came out and absolutely loved it, but after awhile I realized I was supposed to feel embarrassed about this. But I just quietly bought the used double VHS set in widescreen (because those were rented far less often than the cropped tapes and would be in better condition) from the local video shop and…

  • The Crazies

    The Crazies

    ★★½

    I feel horrible that I thought Timothy Olyphant was Josh Duhamel for the first 15 minutes of this movie. There's no way on earth Duhamel could compare and frankly, Olyphant's charisma carries this movie for large stretches. It's not great, but for a 00s era remake of a 70s low budget horror, it kinda stands head and shoulders above the competition. I could have done with a more consistent sense of dread or at least some more gore, but for…

  • The Social Network

    The Social Network

    ★★★★

    Incredibly well built movie about perhaps the most influential cultural and technological shift in my lifetime. What else would we expect from David Fincher? The man is, if nothing else, a technical and aesthetic genius, and when he's paired with the right material, the resulting movie soars. The editing and script here are what steal the show; while it looks and sounds fantastic and the acting is uniformly superb, the way these elements are cut together in a perfect rhythmic…

  • The Meg

    The Meg

    ★★½

    Recipe for The Meg:

    1 part Jurassic Park
    1 part Jaws
    2 parts Deep Blue Sea
    Dash of The Abyss
    1 whole Jason Statham

    Start by mixing the epic faux-scientific grandeur of Jurassic Park with Jaws, then drop the result into a bowl full of proudly B-movie Deep Blue Sea, sprinkle your dash of The Abyss in for a hint of wonder, then let Statham stomp and grin his way through the whole thing while it bakes for 2 hours.

    Yeah, it's incredibly stupid, but it's more competently put together and more fun than you'd think.

  • Nobody

    Nobody

    ★★★½

    Nobody is perfect for when you want some John Wick style action but you don't want to drown in mythology or world building, but you do want some genuine humor thrown into the mix. It's a hair less brutal, leaning more toward "omg the way he killed that guy lol" reactions rather than gasps - which was great, because my wife seemed right on the verge of noping out on the Wick movies. Most of all though, it's a thoroughly…

  • The Farewell

    The Farewell

    ★★★★

    I lost my grandparents when I was young and lost my parents before I turned 30. My son is lucky to have one set of grandparents, but I wish so badly that he could have known my parents too. The Farewell touches on these ideas more deftly than pretty much any movie I can recall right now. I really felt a deep yearning throughout this movie, recognizing the central struggle from a different perspective: when my stepdad was diagnosed with…

  • Commando

    Commando

    ★★★½

    Total rip-roaring action movie that amplifies the cheese factor and comes across *almost* satirically - but the wild violence and straightforward plot are rendered sincerely, with just a bit of a wink at the audience. The movie knows how silly it is, and revels in it. From the pornographic shots of Arnold's musclebound body in the beginning to the mountain of corpses he leaves behind at the end - he kills a dude with a pitchfork! he casually drops a…

  • The Reaping

    The Reaping

    The Reaping is like the absolute epitome of dead-dumb cgi-packed 00s horror in every way you could imagine. The script seems to have been written on a series of post it notes, the actors all look completely lost, the cgi blood, gore, locusts, etc all feel lifted from a playstation 2 video game, and the main theme seems to be "believe in god or he will abuse the shit out of you" which.. yikes? I'm not religious in the slightest…