Movie Review: ANNIHILATION – interesting, but an ultimately ponderous and pretentious exercise from the writer/director of Ex Machina

There was no way I was going to miss this movie – for two reasons, actually.  The first being that my daughter usually beats me to the punch on new releases and I needed to see this one before she did just cuz.  The second being Alex Garland.  Now, I haven’t seen most of Garland’s work, but I liked Dredd a lot, despite it mostly being a RoboCop movie in disguise,  and I flat out loved Ex Machina., which was, if memory serves, my favourite movie of 2015.

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Movie Review: VERONICA – if you’ve successfully ignored the clickbait headlines, good for you. PG-13 scares at best, and few of them.

Is there anyone who doesn’t fall for clickbait?  Probably not.  Most of the times, they’re easy to identify and pass over.  So and so “destroys” someone else’s political argument, some device or food is the “Only Thing I Ever Needed”.  And I’m a huge fan of browsing creepy old pictures on Pinterest that are described as things that will “Haunt Your Dreams Forever” – you know, this kind of stuff.  Generally written to increase traffic by people who copy rather than create, these headlines have permeated the world of online article writing, and mostly serve as penny-click advertising revenue.  But like I said, who hasn’t clicked one?  My mistake was being curious about the descriptions of Veronica, currently available through Netflix, as being the scariest movie of all time.

Continue reading “Movie Review: VERONICA – if you’ve successfully ignored the clickbait headlines, good for you. PG-13 scares at best, and few of them.”

Movie Review: THE RITUAL – Good, but feels like a mashup of other movies, and the ending is a lot weaker than it should be.

Literally, everyone I knew who had seen Netflix’s The Ritual urged me to watch it.  Not one person had anything bad to say about it – I was planning on watching it anyway just from catching the trailer, which intrigued me, but mostly because while watching that same trailer, I felt I was seeing a few already familiar movies.  I finally got around to viewing it, and it turned out mostly as I expected: good, but far from great, for a  number of reasons.

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Movie Review: BLACK PANTHER – Marvel’s latest cinematic property captures the zeitgeist of today – it’s flawed but good in all the right places.

I have to admit, I don’t place “importance” on genre movies, and I’m mystified by those who do.  Both Wonder Woman and Mad Max: Fury Road were described in such glowing terms when they were released, and I flat out don’t get it – especially given that both movies had major problems, and were not really that great.  Both movies had strong, well portrayed female heroes, and while that’s a great thing, it’s not a strong enough attribute when so much else is weak.  Now it’s the turn of Marvel Studios to capitalize on strong public sentiment, with Black Panther!

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Movie Review: THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER – a cold, odd, and austere movie, but fascinating from start to finish.

As obscure as the source of the title for this movie is, it’s also a major spoiler for the largely inexplicable events that happen in the second half, because I expect that some people would approach the movie by Googling the meaning of it.  In that respect, it’s too clever for its own good.  I waited until after the movie ended to do it, and you should too.

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Movie Reviews: BEST and WORST of 2017

I reviewed 87 movies in 2017, five less than my first full year writing this blog, but between selling and buying homes, and moving late in the year, the second half of 2017 was thin on movie watching.

Not all of the movies I reviewed were released in 2017, so that’s my one caveat for this list.  My rating system remained at 0 to 5, in 0.5 increments, which still seems like I should switch it to a 0 – 10 in single digit increments, but we’ll see.

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Movie Review: STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – Hard to like and badly written, this movie is more like episodes 1-3, than 4-7.

When we saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi on December 28 of this year, that day was notable for three reasons – my brother’s birthday, my wedding anniversary, and 40 years to the day I went to see the first movie in the franchise.  40 years – that’s almost half a century.  Amazing.  This was back in the day when the UK would get a movie literally months after it’s initial US release.  Over the Christmas period, and a little after, it was almost a competition to see how many times you could see it more than your friends.  I don’t recall if I beat anyone, but I went to see that movie 13 times in maybe a three week period, staying in the cinema to watch it two or three times in a row.  That won’t be happening with the latest in the franchise.

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