Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears

This is the kind of oddity – deceptive title and all – that used to show up in the final hours of all-night marathons at Southern drive-ins. Today, we get Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears playing Atlanta in the hope that someone here has seen the popular Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries TV series from Australia. Essie Davis has… Continue reading Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Which could just as easily have been called “The Regurgitation of Skywalker and Then Some”! Unable to convince Rey (Daisy Ridley) to convert to the dark side, newly appointed Supreme Leader of the First Order Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) seeks two lost objects to guide him to an uncharted planet where The Sith wait. When the Resistance… Continue reading Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The Aeronauts

James Stewart and Audrey Hepburn would’ve probably been Disney’s first picks to play mild meteorologist James Glaisher and daredevil pilot Amelia Wren in a Technicolor pic shot in Cinerama. Instead, we get Edward Redmayne and Felicity Jones in a fabulously old-fashioned throwback about a daring 1862 flight to reach new heights in a hot-air balloon.… Continue reading The Aeronauts

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Angelina Jolie is back as Maleficent in Disney’s sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. There are a few exceptions, but usually no sequel is better than the original film. Mistress of Evil does try to rival the first installment – they almost pull off a PG-rated Game of Thrones motif, and it’s fun, but the movie fails to be… Continue reading Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Dora (Isabela Moner), a teenage explorer (everyone knows Dora as this little cartoon kid, but now she’s a teenager?! How stupid!), leads her friends on an adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind a lost city of gold. What a bomb/flop. Seriously, while watching this you can imagine all these Hollywood executives… Continue reading Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Continuing the aftermath of Endgame, what I noticed was how this third tier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has altered the way the stories are told. The classic Marvel way was to tell linear stories in the context of an overlaying arc. This time there are three diverging storylines told concurrently while seeded with hints of what’s… Continue reading Spider-Man: Far From Home

Avengers: Endgame

Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: ENDGAME..L to R: Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), War Machine/James Rhodey (Don Cheadle), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019

Okay, so first off, [spoiler!], but then [spoiler!] happens, totally throwing a curve ball into all the [spoiler!], but it’s fine, take a breath, since [spoiler!] all of a sudden [spoiler!] and [spoiler] and [spoiler!][spoiler!](holy shit!)[spoiler!], but not for long, since [spoiler!] comes back, and [spoiler!] disappears and [spoiler!] beats the tar outta [spoiler!] just… Continue reading Avengers: Endgame

Dumbo

Dumbo (2019). Walt Disney Pictures. Movie still.

Aside from The Jungle Book, the live action Disney remakes have been duds. They range from unnecessary (Beauty and the Beast) to extremely disappointing (Cinderella). So, going into Tim Burton’s spin on the animated classic Dumbo it’s only natural to have a healthy dose of skepticism, but what we have here is by far the… Continue reading Dumbo

Captain Marvel

With vague memories of a previous life as an Air Force pilot, Carol Danvers is also known as Vers, an intergalactic warrior in service to the Kree’s Starforce who is being pursued by Skrulls, a shape-shifting alien race and the earliest of Marvel’s alien races. Set in 1995, Captain Marvel, directed by Anna Boden and… Continue reading Captain Marvel

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

With an all-star cast featuring Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett (as Batman), Tiffany Haddish, Allison Brie, Nick Offerman, Maya Rudolf, Will Ferrell, Charlie Day, Will Forte, Jonah Hill (as Green Lantern), Channing Tatum (as Superman), and Jason Momoa (as Aquaman), The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is the ultimate (meta) self-aware crowd pleaser… Continue reading The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Mortal Engines

Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) and citizens of a small traction town on the run as the city of London bears down on them in "Mortal Engines." The film is directed by Christian Rivers, and written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson based on the novel by Philip Reeve.

Wacky Races: The Movie remains just a dream, but the release of Mortal Engines inspires new hope for giant vehicles tearing up the dystopia in a post-apocalyptic road trip. Mad Max: Fury Road probably gets most of the credit for getting Mortal Engines made as a big-budget spectacle, though. A lot of that money gets used up in the opening scene, as the mobile city… Continue reading Mortal Engines

Once Upon a Deadpool

Once Upon A Deadpool is supposed to be a recut, re-edited PG-13 version of the R-rated blockbuster Deadpool 2, but what ends up happening is marvelous – the PG-13 version becomes much funnier (and filthier) than the original. Deadpool, already the ultimate punk spoof of all other comic book characters (and movies) – having no… Continue reading Once Upon a Deadpool

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The first big-screen animated movie based on the Marvel Universe is also the first Marvel movie that isn’t set on Earth-616. That’s the primary reality in all of the Marvel films and comic books. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – which is essentially the origin story of Miles Morales as Spider-Man – even starts by being kind… Continue reading Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

A dinosaur wrangler (John Schneider) and a gullible former park employee (Lindsay Lohan) return to the wrecked Jurassic World amusement empire because they aren’t smart enough to listen to a wise character actor who was probably paid millions for just one day on the set. They’re joined by a computer nerd (Sammy Petrillo) and a quirky veterinarian… Continue reading Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Star Wars movies used to be an event. Something magical that you would anticipate and ponder and fantasize about in the months and years between films, while you went back for repeat viewings and dreamt up your own wild adventures of the characters onscreen. They became as familiar to kids (and adults) of a certain… Continue reading Solo: A Star Wars Story

Avengers: Infinity War

First off, Captain America’s cell number has a 678 area code. So I guess that’s pretty cool. That’s about the only new thing of interest we learn about any of our beloved superheroes in the long-awaited Avengers: Infinity War. Otherwise, it’s two hours and 40 minutes of galaxy-spanning mayhem and physics-defying battle sequences, regularly peppered… Continue reading Avengers: Infinity War

Tomb Raider

As a standalone movie, Tomb Raider serves as the origin story for a reboot of the video game adventuress Lara Croft, who swings her way through ancient ruins across the globe. It’s also a return to the Republic Pictures serial domain of the 1940s jungle girl Nyoka, raised by a scientist father who was more… Continue reading Tomb Raider

Early Man

From Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park, who’s tackled chickens and sheep, comes this prehistoric animated comedy that’s simplistic and unfunny to the point of being irritatingly obvious, including a joke where a woman raises her hands over her head and comments, “It hurts when I do this,” for the expected response: “Then, don’t do… Continue reading Early Man

Black Panther

Based around a faulty premise, Black Lives Matter perceives rabid, racist cops randomly targeting African-Americans, which if that were the case, victims of police shootings would not predominantly be suspects in criminal investigations shot while disobeying police commands, and there would be an ever-escalating increase of incidents, just as there were lynchings in the Jim… Continue reading Black Panther

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Some casting decisions produce legendary results. Sean Connery as Bond! Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster! The minute I saw Dwayne Johnson in the unbuttoned work shirt, head glistening as an adventurer without weakness, handling a Black Mamba, fighting off jaguars and hoisting himself into a helicopter, it resonated that if tinted golden, he’d be the perfect embodiment… Continue reading Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi..L to R: Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)..Photo: Jonathan Olley..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

If The Force Awakens was about balance, then Chapter VIII is about commitment. With an armada bearing down on the rebel alliance, Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) summons Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), whose “force” is in contact with Rey (Daisy Ridley) after she approaches Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to instruct her in the ways of becoming… Continue reading Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Justice League

After exclusively working for Marvel Comics for the better part of a decade, having created many of their recognizable properties including the Hulk and the X-Men, in 1970 artist/creator Jack Kirby was handed a contract that required him to sign away legal ownership rights. So he quit, and abruptly went to work for the competition,… Continue reading Justice League

The Mountain Between Us

If Alfred Hitchcock had made this film about survival in the High Uintas mountain range in Utah, the majority of the action would’ve centered around two strangers trapped in the fuselage of their wrecked propeller plane, which is exactly where Dutch-Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad stages his best scenes. Unfortunately the couple ventures out into the… Continue reading The Mountain Between Us

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Upon first seeing its trailer, I was convinced I’d already seen the movie and this must be a re-release! After all, its title harkens back to 2006’s Dead Man’s Chest and both Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush get film credits for a story that mentions both Captain Jack’s compass and a ghost ship, which were plot… Continue reading Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

The Lost City of Z

Initially sent as part of a surveying team to settle a border dispute in South America, explorer Percival Fawcett (played by Charlie Hunnam, who was Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy), is more concerned with redeeming his family name at the turn of the last century. Over the decades, however, he travels back and forth between the… Continue reading The Lost City of Z

Kong: Skull Island

Everything Peter Jackson got so wrong has been corrected in this remade/reimagined/reinvented homage to the 1933 original film. Kong is never referred to as an anatomically correct “gorilla” (though he is called a monkey for comic relief); it’s firmly established he is a “god,” an elemental, a member of the ancients who once ruled the… Continue reading Kong: Skull Island