Movie Review: GHOST IN THE SHELL – completely uninteresting adaptation of the famous manga franchise, that plays like bad 80s sci fi.

Ghost In The Shell, Scarlett Johansson’s most recent action movie, can barely be discussed without mentioning the newish cinematic pejorative “whitewashing” as an integral part of any criticism.  I’m not going to put any kind of sociopolitical slant on this review, but if you haven’t heard the term, it refers to white actors being cast in roles that certain groups believe should go to ethnic actors.  It’s not an entirely unfounded criticism (Matt Damon’s recent monster movie The Great Wall was called out for it), and certain movies kinda invite it openly.  Case in point, is Ghost In The Shell, based on the famous manga franchise.  It’s a particularly egregious example – not only does Scarlett Johannson play a character that pretty much should have been played by an Asian actress, but almost all of the main roles are played by white actors.  And they didn’t even bother to switch the action to the west either!

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Movie Review: A STREET CAT NAMED BOB – this true story of a recovering addict and his cat is sweet, surprisingly deep, and genuinely uplifting

In my review of Einstein’s God Model, I described myself as an agnostic skeptic – I’ll add cynic to the list. In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say.  When people do bad things, my philosophy is that the underlying nature of the human race is deceitful, false, and hurtful, and I rarely get surprised.  Conversely, when people do good things, I tend to want to know what their true motivations are.  Like Holden Caulfield, I don’t put a lot of faith in most people.  Having said that, I try to keep my cycnism in check – I like people, and I also believe that cynicism is a personal philosophy that, like others, could – and should – be self-challenged.  This is how I choose to start a review of heartwarming British drama A Street Cat Named Bob?

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Movie Review: A MONSTER CALLS – beautiful, poignant modern fable that left me in tears. A must-see.

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I hadn’t even heard of A Monster Calls until a few weeks ago, and then only had some interest because it starred Felicity Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), whom I like.  Had no idea what the story was about (it’s adapted by Patrick Ness, from his novel of the same name), or if it was live action or animated.  The movie poster is vague to say the least, as you can see.  I put it on the back burner.  Last week I read a short blurb that gave off an Iron Giant kind of vibe, and that kind of tied into the poster.  Not like I had a ton of enthusiasm, but whatever was there ebbed away a little.  Listen, not like I don’t love The Iron Giant like everyone else, but I don’t need to see a knock off.  Movie came, movies went, and last night while home alone I decided to watch a double bill.  The second movie was The Eyes Of My Mother, first was A Monster Calls.  And frankly, it blew me away.

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Movie Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK – latest animated feature from DC goes as dark as it can, but the end result is mostly dim.

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Animation isn’t my thing.  I mean, other than classic Tom and Jerry, I just never caught the bug.  I have a fondness for some Pixar material, and I really loved The Incredibles and The Iron Giant, but that’s mostly it.  My most recent trip there was Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, but that was purely because I’m a fan of Lovecraft.  The movie itself was pretty poor, as I said in my review here.  So yeah, not a huge fan.  But comic books are in my DNA, and I will usually try to watch animated features with the major characters.  It rarely works out well – head on over to my review of 2016’s truly wretched animated adaptation of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke.  I should know better, right?  Apparently not, because I just finished watch Justice League Dark.

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Movie Review: PREDESTINATION – unspectacular, but watchable, time travel thriller with a terrific paradox at its heart

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I don’t know of anyone who would say they’re a fan of Ethan Hawke per se, but I think there are very few people who would say the opposite.  I’m in the former camp – I’ve enjoyed a number of his movies and performances, but can’t quite make the leap to say I’m a fan.  He’s kind of like a less-charming Kevin Bacon; solid, but lacks genuine star power.  I’ve yet to see him turn in a bad performance, though, and I really like the fact he’s done so many genre movies in his long and varied career.  Maybe he just has never had the best agents, maybe he just comes across as too cold and detached in many of his movies, I don’t know.

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Movie Review: WARCRAFT – a lame mashup of the PC game and Lord of the Rings only uses the worst of both worlds.

Warcraft

I approached Warcraft with a bit of dubiousness, I admit.  The trailers looked silly and derivative, I’ve never played the game, and the history of cinematic adaptations of videogames (those I’ve seen) ranges from ho-hum to absolute garbage.  While doing some research for this review I had a look at just how many of them there have been, and I was stunned by how many there are and the fact I had heard of most, seen some of them.  Must have crept up on me over the years.  Of those I have seen, both Tomb Raiders – while not all that good – are on the higher end of that spectrum, while the best-forgotten travesty of Super Mario Brothers anchors that chain at the deep end.

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Movie Review: BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE – Stunningly awful adaptation of one of the greatest Batman stories ever.

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I’ll preface this review with two truisms.  The first being I am NOT a fan of animation, the second being I am a HUGE fan of the seminal graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke.  Oh wait, there’s a third truism – this review is not going to go well.

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