Category Archives: Reviews

Reviews of books, movies, music, and maybe even games.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

There has been quite a bit of noise on social media regarding the spoiler content in reviews of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so I’ll be even less specific than I usually am when reviewing things that might easily be spoiled.

I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Yay! Good Star Wars movie. Better than the previous two (which is a reasonably high bar to clear) and much better than the three that came before those (but that’s a very low bar.) Comparisons with the original trilogy are probably not useful, but if I had to sit down in front of a Star Wars movie again, right now, it would be this one.

That’s it for now.

Justice League

Justice League is a lot of fun. Also, it shows promise. Maybe, just maybe, DC Comics films will finally shake free of the desaturated joylessness that has been their hallmark for a decade. This summer’s Wonder Woman was brilliant and beautiful, and Justice League, though not quite up to that standard, is fun, and triumphant, and (eventually) colorful.

Yes, it begins with sepia-toned misery, but then? Well, okay, then things get worse, but the film doesn’t wallow in that for too long. Okay, yes, it does wallow in that for a while, but then it finishes wallowing and gets on with the heroic, colorful business of being a superhero movie that reminds us why we love comic book heroes.

Justice League clears my Threshold of Awesome, and it also clears my “must own the soundtrack” bar, because Elfman reprised not only his own 1989 Batman theme, but also John Williams’ 1977 Superman theme.

Thor: Ragnarok

I have a new favorite Marvel Movie.

Thor: Ragnarok was amazing fun. It cleared my Threshold of Awesome, it nabbed my top spot for 2017, and yeah, I saw it twice within 14 hours. I’m looking forward to picking up the Blu-Ray as soon as it’s available.

I could write about all the things I loved, but then I’d be spoiling the movie for you, and I don’t want to do that. The trailers didn’t want to do that either.

It’s kind of cool, really. Certain key-frame scenes don’t happen the way the trailer plays them out, preventing spoilers. In some cases the background is different. In others the costuming and incidental make-up is different. And in still others the scene doesn’t actually happen with those people in it.

I’ll give you a low-impact example:

In this still from the trailer the background  looks kind of urban—perhaps it’s an alley? In the actual film, however, this is not the setting for the action in question, so when the event happens in the film, we’re not expecting it. We’re not in that alley we remember seeing in the trailer.

I like this practice a lot. I want trailers to give me a sense of how the movie is going to make me feel, but I don’t want any of the big reveals.

Okay, yes, I suppose the bit about Cate Blanchett’s character catching Mjolnir is a big reveal, and if you haven’t actually seen any of the trailers I suppose I should apologize for posting this snippet, because now it’s out there, but hey, maybe it’s not the REAL Mjolnir, or maybe it’s a dream sequence. Am I off the hook now?

Geostorm

Geostorm is to climate science what Armageddon was to rocket science. It’s also to rocket science what Armageddon was to rocket science, but if I keep going I’ll have described an entire course catalog.

The message of the film, “let’s take care of our planet responsibly,” is delivered a little heavy-handedly, and since the audience for the film is the crowd who’s just there for the popcorn, I’m not sure it’ll be received as intended. Still, it’s nice of the filmmakers to give it a shot.

Geostorm arrives on my list at the lower middle of the “not awesome, not disappointing” pack.