• 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…

  • Everybody's Talking About Jamie

    Everybody's Talking About Jamie

    ★★★½

    “After shaking off a few jitters with formulaic themes that still could’ve been better challenged, Butterell settles into a flashy, lyrical rhythm in the name of self-appreciation. The central themes are unsurprisingly familiar, but motivating, nonetheless. The musical prose is littered with catch bops to stir multiple emotions. And a focused cast collectively capture the frame, holding on until the credits roll. While it doesn’t provoke the mind, it still tickles the heart, even makes it cry. That might be plenty opulent to get the conversation started.”

    Full review —> 989bull.com/review-everybodys-talking-about-jamie-a-flashy-guide-to-self-love/

  • The Birdcage

    The Birdcage

    ★★★½

    Sudden and disjointed ending aside, this was a wild laugh riot with the inner skeleton of a theatrical play. Considering this was as much of an Americanized, Hollywoodized spin on La Cage Aux Folles as was possible in the late 90s, that comic tension and those figurative bright lights couldn't be completely suppressed. Nichols and May were geniuses in their time, how well they corralled and fostered a loose, improv-reliant filming environment was nothing short of pent-up creative energy needing to be recaptured. Easily one of Williams' finest hours.

  • The Parent Trap

    The Parent Trap

    ★★★½

    I can finally get why this film has such a wide nostalgic cult following, even with my small apprehensions toward its potential excess of sappiness. But, for a Meyers/Shyer comedy daring enough to tow a tightrope line most Disney live action works around this time wouldn't dare cross and still maintain the blue castle stamp. Without having watched the Hayley Mills original first, it was a very blank slate on approach. That's not always a bad thing; here, it plays…

  • Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins

    Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins

    ★★½

    Carb-heavy summer popcorn tryst whose IP source material saves it from escaping the trap of genericism. I know Schwentke is capable of connecting multiple dots at once for a tense, meaningful action thriller. Here, it’s a large step backwards for him while pleasing the fans who had followed with the last two GI’s (do not count me among them). It’s really neither tense nor tawdry, but never once did I find this boring (a brief occassion where I fell asleep…

  • Cinderella

    Cinderella

    ★★½

    “Ultimately, this Cinderella is a mixed bag in a lineup of more organized backpacks. Many can promise sturdiness and agility, unafraid to take some risks in differentiating from Perrault’s manuscript. Cannon accomplishes this well enough, splitting open the old notion of royalty and inverting it on its head, and giving the lead more to work for than just romance. It’s a strong start for Cabello, whose career in film shows some fine potential. Just about everything else about this adaptation can’t make the same perilous choice to stand out past most other teen-oriented musical comedies.”

    Full review —> 989bull.com/review-cinderella-new-musical-ambition-held-back-by-old-hits/

  • Joe Bell

    Joe Bell

    ★★★

    One wishes this were a much more impactful drama about the downsides of bullying. There were a few moments where its act felt cohesive and realistic, but it’s never a constant. Wahlberg, even with his best efforts, is somewhat out of his element. His inner dad instincts do come roaring out, but that won’t always equate to the right arena for his work to transcend.

    Given the right audience, and in my case, that was barely any - I was…

  • Old

    Old

    ★★★

    Another of Night’s films that doesn’t seem to carry pizazz or gumption on the surface. Yes, there’s his typical third act twist, but that’s not the only aspect to sneak up on a viewer. Having waited a month to log this into my diary, enough time’s gone by to realize how much of an inner psychoanalysis our director has latched onto this otherwise Twilight Zone-esque story, with the scenic locales to boot.

    Once more, Shyamalan has dug both feet into…

  • Maverick

    Maverick

    ★★★½

    From that bygone era where both its star and director were faultless and unstoppable. Mel was bank, Jodie was a symbol of pride and confidence, and Donner was ever the experimental filmmaker, never settling for the same genre field twice. 


    He always knew how to keep himself busy, and in his immediate post-Lethal Weapon lull, making a slightly obscure 50s western series into a mid-level summer blockbuster was another sensical challenge. One he took on, and added his wildly clever…

  • Luca

    Luca

    ★★★½

    Discord group watch.

    A little better with friends, that slightly sudden ending congealed better this goaround.

  • Space Jam: A New Legacy

    Space Jam: A New Legacy

    ★★½

    Without a doubt, the most deliberate letdown of the summer. Not that it promised much good to begin with; it delivers what it promotes, just like a high-end marketing campaign, except made feature length by way of sophisticated AI... or market research. No wonder Terence Nance was forced out.

    At least the 2D animation was a treasure to behold, Don Cheadle was delightfully extra, and Eric Bauza channeling his inner Hackman helped prevent a complete third-act nosedive.

  • Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

    Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

    ★★★

    I’ll give Robitel this much: He knew how to respond to the downgrades, and compensates in the sequel with added cat and mouse inventiveness. These mazes legit reach early 2000s PS2 level puzzle game quality. Frustrating, but impossible to look away.