Passengers (2016, Morten Tyldum)

Categories: 2016 and Movies.

I feel like every single time I watch one of these legendary blockbuster bombs I find myself asking the same question: did I watch the same movie as everyone else? Make no mistake: this is not a good film. But once you’ve been told something is The Worst over and over again, your expectations get so low that you end up seeing positives, I guess. Passengers is a mediocre sci fi film – really it’s two sci fi films stuck together – but it is not the worst movie of the year. If you think it is, I suggest you go Read More

Jason Bourne (2016, Paul Greengrass)

Categories: 2016 and Movies.

Why there’s another Bourne movie I don’t know. This one hits all the marks you’d expect: Bourne is mad at the CIA and is taking some kind of action, there’s someone on inside helping him out (actually 2 people, but whatever). The cast is too good for the material, as is usual with these films, and Greengrass does a good job with a plot that gets dumber and dumber as it goes on. SPOILERS! Read More

High Spirits (1988, Neil Jordan)

Categories: 1988 and Movies.

This is a very, very silly but endearing film, shot in just an incredible-looking castle and half the fun is just ogling the castle. But Peter O’Toole is great and there are some memorable turns by other members of the cast. This is one of those 80s films with rough edges (the script could have used some tightening, among other things) where the charm of the film outweighs its obvious problems. Read More

The Fate of the Furious (2017, F. Gary Gray)

Categories: 2017 and Movies.

It occurred to me after I watched this latest of the Fast franchise films that these movies have the Bond license: back when Sean Connery and then Roger Moore made Bond films, these films could be filled with the most ridiculous nonsense and nobody cared. In fact, people celebrated them. You put that crap in another film and people wouldn’t accept it but in a Bond movie and it’s perfectly okay. Such is the case with the Fast franchise and this steaming pile of garbage that everyone else but me enjoys. I feel like I watch different movies then everyone else who likes these films. Read More

Bronson (2008, Nicholas Winding Refn)

Categories: 2008 and Movies.

There are probably two types of people: people who think Winding Refn is a genius and people who think he is ponderous, boring and way too interested in style over substance. You can count me among the latter. Despite all the praise over Valhalla Rising and Drive, I found both movies to be flawed. I wanted to like the former more than I actually did, for example. Anyway, I appreciate someone who is trying to chart their own course, even if I don’t like his aesthetic, so I still watch his movies. And, for once, watching Bronson, I think maybe Read More

Cocaine Cowboys (2006, Billy Corben)

Categories: 2006 and Movies.

I have heard about this film from a number of people and wonder if we watched the same movie. This is a poorly made film that absolutely reeks of early digital technology (even if 2006 would suggest it wasn’t made with early digital technology). Why is it that so many people are okay with watching movies that look like they were assembled in somebody’s basement? Read More

Brave (2012, Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell)

Categories: 2012 and Movies.

I’m glad movies like this exist. I can’t imagine how hard it was to be a girl in the past (or present) who had a mother (or a mother and a father) who believed that she should grow up to be a Lady. I think men had their struggles with male archetypes too, but it has always seemed like the pressure on girls to be Ladies has been much worse. So a film like this, about a girl trying to find her own way, is a good thing. Read More

Brand Upon the Brain (2006, Guy Maddin)

Categories: 2006 and Movies.

I didn’t go see this in theatres, with its live orchestra, and that is now to my eternal regret. Because I feel like that experience might have made this the greatest of all Maddin experiences. On the small screen, it’s just not quite as immersive as I assume it would have been in a theatre somewhere, with a live orchestra, and someone like Crispin Glover narrating (not that I mind Isabella Rossellini). Read More

The Boys Are Back (2009, Scott Hicks)

Categories: 2009 and Movies.

For much of its run, this feels like a much more authentic version of the ‘widowed single-parent struggling to raise children’ sub-genre. It has a location and a concept that are not typical of the genre and the whole thing feels more naturalistic (despite talking to dead people). However… (spoilers, if this type of film can be said to have a plot point spoiled) Read More

Clash of the Titans (2010, Louis Leterrier)

Categories: 2010 and Movies.

I have only ever seen pieces of the 80s Clash of the Titans, but my memory of it was that it was actually based on Greek myths. I emphasize this fact because this remake appears to not care about its sources in the slightest, pulling a creature from Norse mythology as its climactic bad guy, bringing in some Arabic mythology, and generally completely altering the stories of the Greek myths it is ostensibly putting on screen.  (I recognize that a fine film could be made out of the idea that all myths from all cultures are variations of the same Read More

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013, Harald Zwart

Categories: 2013 and Movies.

This is one of the innumerable young adult fantasy franchises that has seemingly popped up out of nowhere over the last decade and a half. I watched it for the same reasons that I watch all of these – I enjoy bad movies. This one is, at times, better than a lot of the other lower tier of these films, because it has a sense of humour and it has a sense of humour about the cliches of the genre. Yes, I know, this one was a flop. But it’s certainly more entertaining than a lot of these pandering “You Read More

The Rezort (2015, Steve Barker)

Categories: 2015 and Movies.

The world has reached a new low when a Zombie Resort is a movie concept. The opening of this film is one of the most cliched and terrible openings of any film I’ve seen recently, featuring so much of that “static TV” shit as to be almost unbearable. (I almost turned it off.) Signs of the budget are everywhere, none more than the hilariously small boat to The Rezort. But basically this is Jurassic Park Zombies. (Only the park opened.) But, in order for this to happen, the “system” has to break and one of the most ridiculous aspects of Read More

Boy (2010, Taika Waititi)

Categories: 2010 and Movies.

This is an engaging an affecting coming of age story set on a Maori reserve in New Zealand. Though we’ve seen movies like this before, I have definitely never seen a coming of a age story set on a Maori reserve. It’s the kind of film that makes me wonder why we don’t have a similar film set in Canada. (Maybe we do and I’m unaware of it.) Read More