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OK 83 Points 2016

Plodding, pretentious and predictable aren’t the attributes of high quality SciFi. Yet Arrival has been bathed in positive reviews. Amy Adams’ laudable performance notwithstanding, this praise is seriously mistaken. OK, perhaps I’d be less strident about this if the high marks hadn’t led me to …

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WikChip Image Weak Visuals
Fantastic Beast...
OK 66 Points 2018

The Crimes of Grindelwald is also The Parade of Obscurities, so convoluted are its developments over 2¼ hours. Unlike other J.K. Rowling movies, which have generally been discernible despite their depth, Fantastic Beasts 2 makes even the convoluted Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Atlas Shrugged:...
Good 66 Points 2012

Atlas tried, again. If only Part II was double the fun or carried twice the load of Part I.

Instead, the new casting ends net neutral while the story remains mired in the Fifties.

Plus the sheer weight of putting on an economic thriller remains overwhelming. Still, all hail the attempt….

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WikChip Image Beghe's Hank Reardon - hell of a man
Made in Dagenham
Good 66 Points 2010

Message-movies that dramatize real world events start with two strikes against them. The message they promote likely doesn’t resonate with everyone. And they have to hew to an often humdrum storyline.

Thus Made in Dagenham is a pleasant surprise, quirky instead of humdrum, not heavy-handed…

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Good 20 Points 2013

Ashton Kutcher leads an impressive cast to tell the story of an impressive Steve Jobs. Those of us who hail from Silicon Valley have heard it all before – yet we all yearn to get closer to the real man behind the stories. Jobs gets us one step closer to his hippie and maniacal past, is brillian…

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Killing Kennedy
Good 66 Points 2013

Killing Kennedy could easily be titled Kennedy’s Killer given its salutary focus on Lee Harvey Oswald. JFK we knew. It’s unfortunate then that Killing Kennedy spends time on the Leader of the Free World’s womanizing. Given 90 minutes of real runtime, bikinis take away from also understanding …

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WikChip Image Killing Kennedy brings this to life.
Ender's Game
Good 83 Points 2013

Nice try, but Ender’s Game is barely a winner. Perhaps Orson Scott Card was right in saying his lauded SciFi novel is unfilmable.

BrianSez and other fans of Card’s novel and its sequels may like it better than a newbie like me. I ha…

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WikChip Image What's going on in there Ender?
August: Osage C...
Good 66 Points 2013

Unhappy families are each unhappy in their own way, wrote Tolstoy. The Oklahoma family in August: Osage County is unhappy because their matriarch is a pill popping shrew. This monstrous maternal presence is masterfully played by the incomparable Meryl Streep. She’s vividly entertaining, albe…

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WikChip Image Mother-Daughter embrace. Isn't that n...
The Death of St...
Good 66 Points 2018

Cults of personality hit peak absurdity when their object dies, as vividly satired in The Death of Stalin. Unfortunately, this political comedy is more smart than funny. Hence, its LOLs are few and far between.

Stalin funny? Yeah, even though he stands nearly alone in megalomaniacal evil, be…

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WikChip Video The Banality of Evil, Satired
The Lego Movie ...
Good 66 Points 2019

Everything is no longer awesome in Lego Movieland. That’s the upshot of The Lego Movie 2’s fall from grace, the grace of its two awesome antecedents. Phil Lord & Christopher Miller’s snappy pop culture allusions are still present, as is the terrific voice cast. But this time their confection fe…

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WikChip Video Awesome use of Lego Movie characters