Category Archives: movie review
We hear about Syria a lot these days. Ravaged by ISIS, crushed by their own dictatorial leaders, the Syrian population is wildly displaced, with millions of refugees looking for new homes around the globe. But we don’t know a lot about the actual country. TIFF looks to fill that gap, with a week-long program of Syrian films called Syria Self-Portraits: Chronicles of Tyranny, Chronicles of War. Stars in Broad Daylight is one of the oldest in the program, from 1988, by Syria’s foremost filmmaker Ossama Mohammed. It’s a bleak comedy, an absurd look at the country’s longstanding oppression.
I took a half day off of the day job on Friday because I wanted to see Ghostbusters this weekend and the timing just wasn’t going to work otherwise. Seeing Paul Feig’s film felt important to me. As a Ghostbusters fans, though not a die-hard like so many others. As a pop culture fan. As a guy who works with with a lot of incredible women who are writing in the genre field and who may have felt attacked by the misogynists out there who thought an all-female reboot of Ghostbusters who would somehow ruin their childhood.
But mainly I think I wanted to see it because I’m a dad to an awesome little girl who rules my world.
This was quite an unusual Fourth of July for me for several reasons. My eldest grandson, who is in the Marines, is deployed overseas. His brother, who is fresh out of Navy boot camp, is training for submarine duty. I’m proud of both of them, but miss their not being at the family gathering. Our little town of Audubon now has a piece of one of the twin towers from 9/11 and after the dedication of the memorial, my family and I headed to the theatre to see Independence Day: Resurgence. Did the film do justice to our love of freedom? Grab your flag and follow me. Read the rest of this entry
Last weekend, The Purge: Election Year, the third installment in the horror franchise, opened. Was it as good as the previous films, or should moviegoers vote “no” at the box office?
Dragons, rival wizards, and a runaway Prince, Studio Ghibli’s Tales from Earthsea has all of the ingredients to create awesome. Does the recipe headed up by the son of Hayao Miyazaki serve up cinema tastiness, or does it fall like a bad soufflé?
I grew up on science fiction shows and watched shows like Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon on a 12-inch television screen. Although the aliens from the old television shows were scary, they did not prepare me for Ridley Scott’s Alien. Who is my choice for King of the Creature Feature Award? Grab your electric prod and follow me. Read the rest of this entry
Why do so many aliens want to kill us? Okay, maybe humanity leaves a lot to be desired. There’s war, murder, avarice aplenty, and people that want to elect Donald Trump. If we haven’t broken the planet we live on, we’ve sure as hell damaged the packaging. Our celebrated social networks leave us staring at our phones, hardly noticing the actual world in front of us.
But we don’t completely suck. There’s art and inventions and love… still, fucking Donald Trump? Maybe the aliens have a point. Don’t get me wrong. I love me a Starship Troopers or a Predator or an Alien, when that unknowable other is just a vicious killing machine here to reduce us to emphatic survival. But it’s not often that we see aliens as screwed up as we are. Which is one of the many things that makes Neil Blomkamp’s District 9 so great. The aliens and their massive ship hovering over a metropolis aren’t here to destroy us with monument-shattering death rays. Their spacecraft broke down, they’re sick and dying, and whatever their interstellar traveling, they’re completely S-O-L. The film’s a brilliant exploration of a refugee civilization landing on our doorstep, and the amazing awfulness humans bring to bear in dealing with the problem.
Who would have thought that the Merc with the Mouth would outperform two of the most iconic characters in history at the box office, but that’s exactly what went down this past winter when the R-rated Fox/Marvel film Deadpool raked in and incredible $361 million in North America, making it the fifth highest grossing film of the year, the highest-grossing R-rated film in North American box office history, the most successful film in the X-Men franchise, and trumping Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’s $327.7 million by a significant margin.
Incredible, right? Read the rest of this entry