• Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    ★★★★½

    This viewing really cemented Jon Hamm’s spot on my best supporting actor ballot. A prime cut of the stock 80s authority figure played with unwavering conviction. His ability to convey a range of emotions all the way from desperation to hope while remaining absolutely stone faced is astounding. That little smirk he manages to crack as Maverick is about to make the simulation run under the two minute mark? The man makes you think the Kuleshov effect works entirely just for him.

  • The Black Phone

    The Black Phone

    ★★★½

    This one goes out to all those Gen Xers who browse Facebook meme pages that perpetuate their idea of the seventies as a haven before smart phones and bike helmets, where kids could be kids blissfully unaware of the dangers of a getting a rogue lawn dart lodged in your skull or the multiple madmen that were beginning to invade the suburbs. 

    The Black Phone spins a crowd pleasing chiller out of the stranger danger hysteria and public’s newfound discovery…

  • Set It Up

    Set It Up

    ★★★★

    As good as everyone hyped it up to be when it first released, maybe even better! Two rom coms for the price of one: the first purposely orchestrated to be as shallow and clichéd as they come, a means to an end so that the second couple can slowly fall head over heels to the surprise of absolutely no one. It’s entirely thanks to Deutch and Powell that the moments we anticipate from these movies cut as though we’re seeing…

  • Elvis

    Elvis

    ★★★★

    A bit droopy in parts as is inevitable with a near three hour ride through four decades of music history, yet Baz Luhrmann’s all gas no brakes approach to the material makes even a small moment of exposition feel like it’s coming at you at a 100mph. If you think there’s a better way to show the beginning of Elvis’s career sweeping the nation than with a wave of carefully detonated orgasms in an auditorium, please let Mr. Luhrmann and…

  • What's Up, Doc?

    What's Up, Doc?

    ★★★★★

    Already a dizzying affair with every bit of cartoon inspired slapstick landing in tune with the ping pong patter of Babs and O’Neal’s tête-à-têtes, but then it also throws in a madcap chase through San Francisco that crescendos with a sheet of glass delivery gag that somehow manages to use every axis of movement available—forward, backward, up, down, side to side—so that no one sees the obvious punchline coming from right up above. Unbelievable stuff!

  • Hard to Kill

    Hard to Kill

    ★★★

    Got a good chuckle out of Seagal’s coma beard.

  • Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    ★★★★½

    Straight villainous of Joseph Kosinski to make me think that a OneRepublic song could bang in any way shape or form. I can’t have my Spotify Wrapped tainted by the tones of laundry detergent rock, yet the vibes created with its placement in the film are simply too powerful to ignore. Coming in hot right after all of Cruise’s insecurities and fears as an actor were laid bare in Maverick and Iceman’s conversation is this small respite of crashing waves…

  • Firestarter

    Firestarter

    ★★

    The Marvelfication of 80s genre films limps on with this little number from Blumhouse. A shallow excuse for a feature, clearly only greenlit as a savvy bit of IP management to capitalize on the popularity of Eleven from Stranger Things and not because of any intriguing new take or rekindled drive to update the original material for modern audiences. Achieves the impossible by making 94 small minutes feel like an eternity, needlessly bloated in the pursuit of a spectacle greater…

  • Jurassic World Dominion

    Jurassic World Dominion

    ★★

    Ah, now eventually you did plan to have dinosaurs in your, in your dinosaur film, right? Hello?

    Ah. Hello? Yes?

  • The War of the Worlds

    The War of the Worlds

    ★★★★

    Modestly outdated in all of the right ways. Faith, science, and the rule of law versus the unknown; foolish attempts to rationalize what is irrational to good god fearing folks. All of the anxiousness hanging around post war naivety rendered as clear as the fingerprints on the glass domed Martian miniatures. Those good ole wholesome square dances instantly vaporized with the flash of technicolor death ray (very cheeky of them to model the Martian’s spectrum of sight off of the colors associated with the three strip process, very very cheeky move).

  • Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    ★★★★½

    Kicking off the first big training montage by having the wails of a fighter jet synch up to the opening scream of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is a watershed moment for dad cinema. Please be advised that you will start wanting to call people champ and dole out friendly pats on the back after watching the film.  

    Popcorn propaganda of a different sort, reconfiguring the MTV recruitment video verve of Tony Scott’s film into a coda of…

  • Top Gun

    Top Gun

    ★★★★

    Alright everyone, say it with me: “they just don’t make ‘em like to used to”. Crackerjack summer entertainment, all hulking machines and glistening bodies going fast and loud making every hour golden hour. Nearly impossible not to get lost in Harold Faltermeyer’s rousing score or Cruise’s short king charisma in this. He may once and forever be Ethan Hunt, but you don’t get the numerous attempts to hone that character and franchise or even the clout to jumpstart a DOA Dark Universe without Top Gun; the crown on which every future box office jewel gets to rest.