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  • Crawl

    Crawl

    ★★★

    I'm fascinated by hurricanes. They're powerful and dangerous, but in this film we get a rare look at a hurricane from the inside. All too often, I've seen a TV reporter getting blown to bits onscreen, shouting about the noisy hurricane that's happening around them. Here, we're just (calmly) focused on the hurricane and everything that's happening around it. The alligators just happened to be there.

    Alligators are indigenous to Florida, and they'd be quite happy if these pesky humans…

  • The War of the Worlds

    The War of the Worlds

    ★★★½

    While the special effects were quite good, the story left me... wanting? After hearing the radio program first, I was disappointed that there was nothing shown in Grover's Mill, New Jersey.

    When the martians arrive, there's a lot of curiosity, followed by terrifying battles. The demise of the martians is the same as the radio show (and original novel). Aside from the armed forces, there's not much for the other human characters to do, except for scream in terror and…

  • The Apartment

    The Apartment

    ★★★★

    Shirley MacLaine is so cute in this movie. I forgot all about her past lives and concentrated on this one. The rest of the film is good too, and filled with delightful characters (most of their faces I recognized from watching TV reruns as a kid). This is a good movie to watch on New Year's Eve.

  • Stuber

    Stuber

    ★★★½

    A comedy for modern times! If I was an actual film critic, I'd want that last sentence printed in newspapers in the ads for this movie. Oh, wait, does anyone read newspapers anymore?

    Seriously, though, it's a comedy for modern times! Uber! Smart phones! An electric car! Add two mismatched characters, and we're off to the races! Minor spoiler: This movie contains a very brief Guardians of the Galaxy mini-reunion.

    I don't know if Rush Hour was a partial inspiration…

  • Star Trek Beyond

    Star Trek Beyond

    ★★★½

    The last two movies were filled with action and terrifying battles. This movie is no exception. The title kind of begs the question "beyond what?" and is kind of answered at the end of the movie. This time, it doesn't borrow from previous films, but if you haven't seen the TV series Enterprise you might get a little lost wondering where our antagonist came from and why he was there. In fact, the antagonists in all three movies could be…

  • Star Trek Into Darkness

    Star Trek Into Darkness

    ★★★½

    After the release of Star Trek in 2009, of course there was going to be a sequel. Continuing on from the alternate timeline established in the previous film, they went boldly where... well... to be honest, where they've kind of been before.

    If you've followed Star Trek as long as I have, you'll recognize character names (and some scenes) from 1982's Star Trek II. While still an enjoyable trek, I think they "borrowed" a little too much from the 1982…

  • Star Trek

    Star Trek

    ★★★★

    Has it really been 10 years since this movie was in theaters? I guess it has! At the time, it had been seven years since Nemesis was released, and four years since Enterprise was on television. The Star Trek franchise was tanned, rested, and ready.

    They set out to do something different, and they certainly did, by employing the "alternate timeline" MacGuffin. Leonard Nimoy's appearance is what really made me want to see the movie back then (minor spoiler: there…

  • Easy A

    Easy A

    ★★★½

    Yes, I watched this movie instead of the fireworks, because Emma Stone is an American treasure. In 2010, high school was just as horrible as it was when I was in high school (which was way before 2010, now get off my lawn).

  • Trail of the Pink Panther

    Trail of the Pink Panther

    ★★★

    Also known as "the one with the clips."

    After Revenge of the Pink Panther, and the death of Peter Sellers in 1980, there was no way that this franchise could keep going. Or could it? Someone thought so. The result? A mishmash of clips that you've seen before, mixed in with new scenes that kind of stitch together a plot. Clouseau gets on a plane, and it mysteriously disappears. Dreyfus can't be bothered to find him. Without Clouseau, Dreyfus can…

  • Revenge of the Pink Panther

    Revenge of the Pink Panther

    ★★★½

    Also known as "the one with Dyan Cannon."

    I think this may have been the first Pink Panther film I'd ever seen, which, in hindsight, might have been a mistake. I didn't have much choice in the matter, though, as I was just a kid and I didn't exactly drive myself to the movie theater. I lacked familiarity with the characters back then. However, today I can say that this film is... well... it's okay.

    At times it felt like…

  • Yesterday

    Yesterday

    ★★★★

    What if the Beatles never existed? It's an interesting question, and a heck of a thought exercise. When you think about it, the Beatles had an influence on music, art, and culture. The other morning, I drove past a car with a license plate that references John Lennon's name. Without the Beatles, that license plate (and possibly that car) wouldn't exist.

    I loved the music and the characters, and the premise was very good too. I'll be thinking about it for a long time, and that is very good.

  • First Man

    First Man

    ★★★★

    July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, so now is a good time to watch this film. I'm a fan of space missions, so I found those sequences pretty great. Then the film goes into Armstrong's life where he's just this guy who thinks manning a moon mission is "okay." Going to the moon was/is a pretty big deal, but he did have a lot going on outside of his work which had an effect on him. Space exploration fans should check it out.