• Samaritan

    Samaritan

    ★★½

    All the gloss and hyperrealism of a graphic novel, merged with a gritty Robocop-level action template, but none of the resonance to sell its Last Action Hero-lite comic side for more than 30 minutes. Stallone tries to carry the tale on his shoulders, and he can still keep the mood spry and husky. Though most of the work would be better attributed to Asbæk, quick enough to play quirky with demonic profiteering evil. It’s all an awkward mix, trying to be…

  • The Green Knight

    The Green Knight

    ★★★★½

    When Lowery steps forward to craft a period based compendium, it’s with both feet grounding deep into ancient soil, and eyes looking to a limitless sky. His approach to Arthurian lore on an otherwise unfamiliar path creates newfound inroads that bear inspiring permanence. Playing with both the eerie and the profound, both at once with alchemist-like precision, he’s walking quite the tightrope, leading Patel along by guidewire and figurative torch. 

    Think Dragon’s Lair, though nowhere near silly. More enigmatic and…

  • Jurassic World Dominion

    Jurassic World Dominion

    ★★★

    “Evidence will show how much of a mess Jurassic World Dominion looks like before its residual loose ends are rapidly tied up in ribbon. Trevorrow throws in a full kitchen sink, knowing it’s the end, and the rulebook is extinct. It will be difficult not to shake one’s head, questioning decisions made, or roads taken to bring its large ensemble together. It’d be trickier not to experience twinges of satisfaction at its foregone, unsurprising conclusion, one that would require the…

  • Stillwater

    Stillwater

    ★★★

    Equal parts a throwaway, and a slanderous National Enquirer parody. The parallels between this heavily charged fiction and the real story it’s evidently inspired by, leave one with a small spot of cringe. It’d have been less bearable if Damon’s natural charisma couldn’t cut through McCarthy’s skittish sense of tone. Ol’ Matt seamlessly embraces his middle-aged Americana dad evolution with a firm foot-on-ground demeanor, leaving the tense motives to sustain their impact. The concerns I felt weren’t being resolved right…

  • Meet the Robinsons

    Meet the Robinsons

    ★★★½

    Is it just me or has our perception of the future changed in 15 years? Considering the reputations of certain names, places and institutions have lost some of their optimism, some in the week before this particular rewatch, it’s likely cynicism has bogged down our minds, and clouded our judgment. It took a friend to plant the idea in my head, but I’m very grateful to have rolled with it. Five minutes alone with William Joyce’s abstract construct of the…

  • Smiling Friends

    Smiling Friends

    ★★★½

    Bizarre, well animated, very typical Adult Swim “keep that weird flag flying” content. I’ll dive deeper on this, probably.

  • A Heroic Fight

    A Heroic Fight

    ★★★

    A wedding band covering “Power of Love” before a shootout occurs with instruments involved? Peak 80s martial arts cheese, or at least one of them.

  • Crocodile Dundee

    Crocodile Dundee

    ★★★

    80s culture shock cinema really was a popular trend, eh? In a decade that managed to blend fish out of water stories with old school adventure tales, Hogan’s portrayal of a wildly confident Tarzan-type speaks deeper echoes than, say, Eddie Murphy in Coming to America. He was a likable surprise all throughout, never playing the character too lost or ravenous. Straighforward, with a naive charm, and stellar chemistry with a fun loving Kozlowski. Bonus points for VelJohnson in his most…

  • The 355

    The 355

    ★★★

    “Just as there is no rest for films arriving in theaters, right after the holidays no less, there is never a moment’s break for the realm of international espionage. Its tests and trials make for evergreen fodder on any size screen. And whilst director Simon Kinberg (the X-Men series) and co-writer Theresa Rebeck (Smash) nimbly push for “largest available” territory in The 355, the action displayed came off equal parts gripping, and a touch exhausting. Because once it starts, it simply doesn’t stop for anything. Not even to hydrate.”

    Full review —> 989bull.com/review-the-355-girl-power-spy-thriller-nearly-fulfills-its-mission/

  • Belle

    Belle

    ★★★½

    Already hoping this beautiful celebration of hopefulness can gel a bit more for me on a big screen and/or in the English dub. Trying to focus on the equalized disconnects between reality and the internet blogosphere, and what appears to make the two so similar in the everyday, left me a trifle confused with gaps along this story’s very driven path. It doesn’t break the pacing, but had me rewinding at times if only to find my footing with the…

  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage

    Venom: Let There Be Carnage

    ★★★

    “I feel like perhaps they stopped just a bit short of exploring deeper character themes involving Brock, or the creature he serves host to. That quick runtime is not kind to this sequel, doing more than enough to stem the backward tide of its predecessor, but still falling behind to not be a complete entry in Sony’s Spiderverse. It lands somewhere in the middle, awaiting the next lofty boost. Venom: Let There Be Carnage takes pride, through the aid of a capable director like Serkis, in being better than the first, but not by a massive degree.”

    Full review —> 989bull.com/review-venom-let-there-be-carnage-symbiote-vs-symbiote-franchise-pleads-case-for-a-win/

  • G-Force

    G-Force

    ★★

    For $150 million, much of the effort was well spent on realizing these not completely cartoony CG guinea pigs. That’s just Bruckheimer flexing his clout at a time when he still could without consequence. 

    But after nearly a decade since last viewing, it is clear this film hasn’t aged too well on merit of a story littered with too many childish gags and a cringey soundtrack. It just… reeks of 2009, and it shows.

    Had the plot taken itself just…