Jesse_Wroe has written 10 reviews for films rated ★★½ during 2017.

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★½

    Enjoyable entertainment. Insofar as an overtly episodic entry in a movie franchise can be dramatically satisfying, it's strengths come in particular moments, most of which are either visually appealing or effective action montages. Yet, there are a couple of thematically good moments too, which are strengthened by set pieces (dialog, fights, etc.).

    I actually liked this more than Episode 7 and Rogue One, but that's akin to saying that a particular transitory pocket in the greater story of, say, Harry Potter, is enjoyable as an isolated narrative.

  • I, Madman

    I, Madman

    ★★½

    Notable as a kind of genre/aesthetic hybrid and the production value that feels like a transition from the 1980s to the '90s, but ultimately not that great.

  • The Sentinel

    The Sentinel

    ★★½

    Interesting mostly for all the various actors that show up in one movie, a distinctly 1970s feel, and one good action set-piece that features close-ups of facial brutality. Other than that, it's not very memorable. For nerds only.

  • The Void

    The Void

    ★★½

    Too derivative, eager to get to the gore, little suspense or drama. But the special effects are cool. The visual style is consistent and supplies a lot of the mood.

    It's basically a John Carpenter tribute à la The Thing/Assault on Precinct 13 with an emphasis on H.P. Lovecraft (the amorphous gory monsters remind me of Stuart Gordon's "The Resurrected") and a plot like Baskin (an ending like The Beyond). Good for genre junkies.

  • Le Révélateur

    Le Révélateur

    ★★½

    The best thing about Le Révélateur is the dialog you'll imagine while watching it.

  • Inferno

    Inferno

    ★★½

    Not as awful as I remember, but still bad. Bad, yet stylish, atmospheric, bloody, and weird. The tone and illogic—I won't call it dream logic— make the goofs enjoyable. Lots of laughs.

    There isn't much to the story: a student is researching the Three Mothers, and her quest sets off a mystery that others try to discover—that's as far as they get, really—as supernatural and murderous forces try to stop them.

    Fun for Argento fans. I call his style Super Mario Bava.

  • The Curse

    The Curse

    ★★½

    I would've loved watching this on the Sci-Fi channel back in the 1990s. The B-rate rural horror movie is endearing and nostalgic—I used to live in a town of 264 farmers. I'll never go back to that life though.

    Is there an actual curse in the story? No. The curse is in the minds of the religious, represented by the strict father. When a strange phenomenon unexplainable by science—an oozing meteorite—afflicts the superstitious, their traditional values rationalize the events as…

  • Venus on the Half-Shell

    Venus on the Half-Shell

    ★★½

    Color pencil drawings of surreal, androgynous morphology. Everything is explained by the artist. She feeds mealworms to her chameleon.

  • Love Rites

    Love Rites

    ★★½

    This could've been a great movie, but it isn't. Sad!

    Get rid of the narration, trim the dialog, add irony so we're laughing at the characters rather than the entire bad script, lose a few art history references, and make the sex quicker and more visceral. That way, the viewer isn't bombarded with bad poetry—nobody really got off to "manly lava gushing to eruption." That's just embarrassing erotica.

    But it's the right kind of movie. It should be remade.

  • 10 Cloverfield Lane

    10 Cloverfield Lane

    ★★½

    Too gimmicky, but the genre-mix up was worth the try.