Movie Review: AD ASTRA – Brad Pitt sleepwalks through an intimate space journey that doesn’t deserve the hype.

You know, when some people liken ANY science fiction movie to 2001: A Space Odyssey, I’m immediately skeptical.  Not only is the Kubrick Klassic one of the few actual science fiction movies out there (sorry, Stars Trek and Wars don’t count), it also happens to be one of my all-time favourite films.  So I was skeptical but curious enough to watch it.  Admittedly though, the draw for me was Brad Pitt.

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Movie Review: READY PLAYER ONE – slick visuals and pop culture references don’t make up for a trite storyline peopled by flat characters and peformances

I readily admit I had little interest in seeing Ready Player One.  The trailers left me as cold as last night’s leftovers, and didn’t contain anything that I found remotely interesting, and visually it looked like a mess.  I thought to myself: this is a Spielberg movie? The trailers reminded me of another movie I hated, Tron: Legacy, a bloated, shallow CGI-fest, except that here the visuals were so muddled, the action so kitchen-sink, I feel like I could be forgiven for thinking RP1 was a Peter Jackson movie, so ridiculous has that filmmaker become.  But it was Spielberg! 

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Movie Review: A QUIET PLACE – to hell with the Rotten Tomatoes rating, this generic PG-13 horror movie is mediocre with flashes of abject laziness.

I have to say, when I saw the trailer for A Quiet Place a few months ago, my reaction was pretty muted.  It looked like it might be okay, but nothing that was going to make an impact either at the box office, or a lasting impression in the minds of those who went to see it.  Well, I can tell you that as far as Your Humble Narrator is concerned, I was spot on, but I’m clearly in the minority with my opinion, just like how I was with Veronica, a mostly blah horror movie with a legion of fans that loved it.  There’s no right or wrong opinions about movies, and I’m not so inclined to question the taste of people who like movies I don’t,  but I just can’t understand the high ratings for this movie.

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Movie Review: THE SHAPE OF WATER – Del Toro’s romantic fantasy does nothing to blow the dust off a tired, old story.

The name Guillermo Del Toro on a movie fills me with dread.  Unfortunately, not in the way I’d like it to.  Everything about the guy I love – his devotion to horror and sci fi, his adoration of HP Lovecraft matches my own, and he has a collection of props I would kill for.  His traveling exhibit At Home With Monsters was pretty amazing – I took some pics when I went to see it earlier this year, and posted them here.   So yeah, I love Del Toro – unfortunately I think most of his movies stink.

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Movie Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE – DC’s answer to the Marvel juggernaut is phenomenal only for the sheer lack of quality.

I finally saw Justice League last night – on the backs of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Wonder Woman, I can’t say I had a lot of interest in seeing it on opening weekend, and from its relatively disappointing opening domestic gross ($90 million), I wasn’t alone in putting it off.  As it turned out, it was the worst possible night to see it: winter finally roared into the Twin Cities, and driving back to my new home was a tense nightmare, thanks to 25 feet visibility and an icy, sleety mess.  Serves you right, the elements seemed to say, serves you right

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Movie Review: BLADE RUNNER 2049 – a mediocre story is shored up by terrific visuals and a truly impressive score

Mediocre story, you might ask?  How can the movie that has shot into the top 100 sci movies of all time have a “mediocre story”?  How can a movie that has quickly become beloved to many sci-fi fans across the globe be described by anyone as being “mediocre”?  Well, it’s all a matter of opinion, of course.  As in Captain America: Civil War, or the ongoing national debate over Left v Right Twix, this is a movie where, after watching, you’ll definitely feel as if you have chosen a side.

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Movie Review: LIFE – shameless A L I E N ripoff, with characters acting so stupidly you’d think you were watching Prometheus.

Dumb movies are everywhere, it’s a sad fact.  In many cases, the box office reflects it (the recent flop known as Baywatch, for example), because the trailers are completely crap.  Other terrible movies will make a pile of money theatrically because of gee-whizz CGI, like the punishing Transformers series, but those kinds of movies tap into a different kind of vibe.  Sometimes people just want a burger and fries, and don’t care about the content.  While the Transformers movies are not my thing, I’ve had a burger myself a time or two, so I understand the appeal.  But what if you’re not trying to make $1 billion at the box office?  What if you’re trying to make a horror movie to do business in the $150M – $350M range?

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