Annihilation might be an enigma to many. It’s marketed like a Nolan film but with the budget, Annihilation doesn’t give away much other than the fact that there’s a foreign threat that could be alien. Going in dark to this film is preferred because watching the story unravel is a spectacle. From 2nd time writer/director, Alex Garland, we are given a science fiction to marvel at with incredible imagery and fantastic narrative. The former is to be expected of; Garland is prolific in writing notable sci-fi films. However, his evolution as a director with a bigger budget is admirable as he doesn’t lose sight of the goal he’s trying to attain. Chalk Annihilation up as a film everyone will have a strong opinion about and one that will have longevity in the world of sci-fi films.
Disney gave director, Rian Johnson, an entire Star Wars trilogy for him to develop out of confidence for The Last Jedi, they made the right choice. The Last Jedi is a film that move at breakneck pace to cover lots of ground, which 90% of it gripping. The stakes in this movie are high and characters don’t feel safe which is fantastic. It breaks such a traditional mold of what Star Wars is normally comprised of. It doesn’t forget its fans yet makes strides for the future and in bold directions. There are a few of astounding moment and plenty of surprises. This easily makes for the best Star Wars from Disney and also a film that reigns at the top of the totem pole along with The Empire Strikes Back.
Christopher Nolan is known for spectacle in cinema. His films are among the most grandiose with a fan of film yet also appeal to a wider audience. His previous two films haven’t resonated as well as his other efforts. Entering a new genre in itself, Dunkirk has all the Nolan craft with plenty of great moments. Dunkirk boasts stunning cinematography, the best sound you’ll hear in a theater, and an excellent structure. While it isn’t perfect, nor near the top of the ladder, Dunkirk cements itself as another thrilling moment that’s anchored by Christopher Nolan and Co and resonates as a great time out at the theater.
The resurgence of Planet of the Apes has been a pleasing one. Rise of the Planet of the Apes gave a competent and stable foundation to the new series. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes heightened tensions among apes and between them and humans. Dawn made for one of my favorite films of 2014. War for the Planet of the Apes is a culmination from both movies and a state of decline for mankind. As to which film is the best, I will need some time to ruminate. War and Dawn are both superb movies that accomplish the goals they strive to achieve. What I can discern is that this is one hell of a trilogy and the finale does stack-up to the other entries. Continue reading War for the Planet of the Apes Review
We are halfway through the year! That means it’s time to do the checklist of what’s been the best of 2017’s movies thus far. These films include anything released between January 1st and June 30th. Note that I haven’t really had the chance to review many of these (I do brief reviews off to the side) but expect more coverage of July releases including a Dunkirk review right as the embargo releases. Until then, here’s the top five:
A brief encounter in Civil War (and a highlight) we’ve since wondered how the newest addition to the MCU will fair. Now the sixth Spider-Man film and third cinema incarnation, where does Homecoming belong in the pantheon of Spider-Man 2 and Amazing Spider-Man 2? It’s fair to rank it just slightly below Spider-Man 2 as Homecoming is a delight. It’s nothing revolutionary of the genre but it’s a sure fire success for all parties involved.
Wonder Woman shares many similarities with Richard Donner’s Superman. It doesn’t quite reach the heights of what Donner put on-screen back in 1978. Donner’s Superman is the defining characterization of the superhero. Fast forward to 2017 and Wonder Woman hits all the right notes to give a spiritual successor to Donner’s achievement. Though it’s not perfect, it’s an excellent film that strays away from setting up new stories and continuing other stories from past films. It’s a golden age comic adaptation: one that nails the story and message.
Earlier in the year, I composed my list of my top five films to see this year. Two of them, Logan and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, have already released. Logan was just as good as many, including myself, were hoping it to be. I did enjoy Guardians, but it did fall short on expectations, which is totally fine. With May down and somewhat of a mixed summer ahead, here are my top five picks for films I think will be the best of the summer.
Remember when you went to go see Prometheus expecting the allure of Alien but ultimately leaving the theater mostly fulfilled. Alien Covenant is the Alien movie that would have met expectations of seeing Prometheus. It gives us more of what we know from the Alien world, blending styles from both Alien and Aliens. We get some clarity and resolutions from past Alien films. Continue reading Alien Covenant Review
Sequels are tough. Successful initial installments usually set expectations high. A great sequel needs to have a plot that doesn’t retread similar ground, adds new layers to the series, and remind us why the characters and story are so important and enjoyed. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 falls on the spectrum of an adequate-sometimes great sequel. The plot is intriguing, the characters are charming, and these two elements work really well together. Unfortunately, GotG2 just tries too hard sometimes and loses focus and touch of what made the first one so much fun. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 ends up being sometimes an average movie, often a great one, and the end product is serviceable.