REVIEW: Skyscraper [2018]

“Got any duct tape?” In an age of remakes, reboots, and rehashes, it’s suddenly become refreshing to see homage—especially the self-aware kind. If you’ve seen the alternate posters for Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s Skyscraper that crib off the designs of Die Hard and The Towering Inferno, you understand how the filmmakers have embraced comparison due to […]

REVIEW: Siberia [2018]

“So sorry for the bird” The question is asked with a wry grin, but Katya (Ana Ularu) isn’t wrong to joke that the mysterious, handsome American who walked into her small Siberian town’s café is a spy. Any other film besides Matthew Ross‘ Siberia would have made Lucas Hill (Keanu Reeves) exactly that—especially now with […]

REVIEW: The First Purge [2018]

“Pray Not Purge” There’s a brief loss of picture halfway through The First Purge‘s end credits that reveals a full-blown commercial for the upcoming ten-part television “event” based on its own franchise. It’s a bad look, especially for those already wondering if James DeMonaco cashed-in after writing and directing the first three installments of his […]

REVIEW: The Killing [1956]

“Just a bad joke without a punch line” After test screenings left audiences confused and frustrated, writer/director Stanley Kubrick and producing partner James B. Harris decided to return to the edit bay and turn The Killing‘s overlapping, repetitious structure into a more linear A-to-B narrative. You can’t blame the former for wanting to do everything […]

REVIEW: Mission: Impossible II [2000]

“Who wants to be decent?” It shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s seen the movie to read a 2016 interview and learn how screenwriter Robert Towne came aboard John Woo‘s Mission: Impossible II after the big action sequences were already set in stone. His job was to therefore connect those choreographed behemoths into a cohesive enough story […]

REVIEW: Mission: Impossible [1996]

“Hasta lasagna. Don’t get any on ya.” Despite completing its successful seven-season run in 1973, it would take another twenty-three years before Bruce Geller‘s original television series received its inevitable cinematic adaptation. For a former Emmy winner starring the likes of Peter Graves, Martin Landau, and Leonard Nimoy with an action thriller premise just past […]

REVIEW: Ocean’s 8 [2018]

“Hims are noticed. Hers are ignored.” The best way to reboot a franchise is via a sequel. It’s smart because of the connection whether it be setting or characters since familiarity allows us as viewers to settle in without having to relearn what the property intrinsically contains. Look at Creed—or to a lesser extent Star […]

REVIEW: First Reformed [2018]

“A life without despair is a life without hope” We live in a time of extremism—where our reaction dial is turned up to eleven regardless of our true interest in a cause or its true importance. Somewhere along the line civil and constructive discourse was replaced by screaming fits of unjustified rage, nuanced topics debated […]

REVIEW: Goodland [2018]

“Eventually the sun sets” There’s nothing like some yokel conversation to introduce a film’s environment while also foreshadowing the ensuing plot. It’s easy to dismiss the aging gas station owner and his even older customer’s back and forth about a wolf seen a few miles away because neither is listening to the other. The former […]

REVIEW: Jaws [1975]

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat” Actor Richard Dreyfus called Jaws a “nexus point” during his question and answer period before a recent screening of the cinematic classic and I can’t think of a better descriptor. His words were relevant as far as his career, but also the medium as a whole. Here was a […]

REVIEW: The Last Witness [2018]

“I thought this was supposed to be about us” Soviet secret police began a series of mass executions circa 1940 of Polish citizens they knew would reject foreign occupation upon WWII’s completion. Some of the resulting graves were discovered in the Katyn Forest three years later with more found elsewhere totaling 22,000 bodies. Because of […]