Saturday, March 31, 2018

Ready Player One (2018)

Rated: PG-13 - Runtime: 140 min
tesg's Rating: Three stars (out of four)

This movie is sort of a tribute to pop culture easter eggs, so much so that the end resolution revolves around one.  The story and pacing are decent enough and some people will probably go to multiple viewings just to catch things they missed the first time around.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Death of Stalin (2018 US)

Rated: R - Runtime: 107 min
tesg's Rating: Three stars (out of four)

I heard somebody call this a "historically accurate satire." That sounds like something the Monty Python group would say, and that's what this feels like...a Monty Python skit. Indeed, Michael Palin is among the cast, which also includes Steve Buscemi, Tom Brooke, the newly disgraced Jeffrey Tambor, and a host of British and American actors who are making no effort whatsoever to sound like Russians or anything other than themselves.

The script doesn't try either.  Lots of proper British and Buscemi is channeling every angry Buscemi character he's ever done, F-bombs and all. It just adds to the silliness, and this movie overflows with silliness.

All of it is set to a backdrop of really nice looking period sets and music.

Pretty good and funny dark comedy overall. Highly recommended in particular to Python fans.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Unsane (2018)

Rated: R - Runtime: 97 min
tesg's Rating: Three stars (out of four)

This is a terrific psychological thriller from Steven Soderbergh who firmly plants your opinion in one direction, then spins it around and makes you unsure just what the hell is going on. The visuals are haunting with some scenes where they don't even light he character's faces. The soundtrack is so sparse that when it pops up, you notice. The aspect ratio is REALLY narrow, adding to the claustrophobic effect. This is REALLY well put together overall.

Love, Simon (2018)

Rated: PG-13 - Runtime: 109 min
tesg's Rating: Three stars (out of four)

I think it's a sad statement on society that "coming out' even still has to be a thing, that people can't just show up and introduce their same-sex partner to friends and family in the same way heterosexual couples do, just skipping the whole "gay" talk.  This movie sort of addresses that in a clever segment that asks the question "Why is heterosexuality the default?"  It's a funny bit.

The rest of the movie is cliche rom-com, but it's more than charming and funny enough for its target audience.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Tomb Raider (2018)

Rated: PG-13 - Runtime: 118 min
tesg's Rating: Three stars (out of four)

This is based on the story line of one of the video game releases, and it feels like you're watching a video game with lots of similar action (long ladders to carefully navigate, hidden things to find or figure out, and action no human could ever survive) and dialogue that's not quite as satirical as the video game dialogue used in last year's Jumanji, but...yeah.

Still, it's paced really well and never loses your attention.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Death Wish (2018)

Rated: R - Runtime: 107 min
tesg's Rating: Three stars (out of four)

I was all in the moment I saw the trailer associating Eli Roth and Bruce Willis's names with the Death Wish franchise.  I would've bought an advance ticket that day if they were on sale.  I had grand visions of the graphic violence Roth could bring and the humor Willis could add.

That doesn't really happen, least initially.  The setup break-in doesn't come near the graphic rape scene of the original, being replaced by minor clothed sexual assault.  Some of the robbers even appear to have morals.

But that all changes when we get to the garage, which is EXACTLY  what I was looking for.  Which figures, since that's primarily what they used in the trailer.

I probably liked this way more than I should have.