Tag: Adventure

2013, Movies

Man of Steel (2013, Zack Snyder)

I feel like I remember reading that this movie had too much origin story and they weren’t kidding. This film tries to both tell the origin story of Superman and of General Zod, and then pit them against each other. And there is just an absolute ton of stuff about Krypton. Honestly, if feels like …

2017, Movies

The Dark Tower (2017, Nikolaj Arcel)

I know nothing about the source material but this is one of those films which feels like things went wrong from the very beginning. Apparently a huge part of the problem is that it is a fairly normal length movie adapted from a novel series that is over 4,000 pages long. So no wonder.

2009, Books, Fiction

John Dies at the End (2009) by David Wong

Full disclosure: I didn’t read this when it was on the web, before it was published. But I saw the film at Midnight Madness TIFF in 2012. I don’t really remember the movie much any more but my review suggested I enjoyed it except for two things: 1) the CGI (which I remember being awful) …

2018, Movies

Ready Player One (2018, Steven Spielberg)

It’s possible that reading bad reviews of this book and this movie prejudiced me ahead of time. But I’m not sure it would have mattered. This is a bad movie. And it’s somewhat shocking that a director as skilled at making popcorn entertainment as Spielberg couldn’t turn it into a passable film.

2018, Movies

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018, Christopher McQuarie)

This is now the sixth Mission: Impossible film and the third in the 2010s reboot. Things are tired: there are too many damn characters and the plot echoes the plots of previous movies (i.e. some element in the US government doesn’t trust/disavows Hunt and the IMF, again). I’m bored and I’m not laughing as much …

2019, Movies

Captain Marvel (2019, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck)

As I have noted with Marvel movies, I only ever read X Men and related comics, so I have no skin in the game of whether or not Captain Marvel should be a man. But a quick Wikipedia search reveals that it’s not so controversial as some made it seem. But make no mistake, this …

2017, Movies

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017, Jon Watts)

I hate reboots. There are perhaps few things I hate more than reboots than reboots of reboots. And yet, I must admit, this one works. And it works way better than expected. This film is, for me, one of the top 3 MCU movies. It might be the best, actually. Very minor spoilers if you …

2019, Movies

Avengers: Endgame (2019, Anthony Russo, Joe Russo)

Note: Due to the nature of this film – concluding this “phase” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and also its plot, it’s impossible to talk about it without heavy spoilers for the entire set of 20 odd movies, particularly Infinity War, as this is a direct sequel to that movie. You’ve been warned. (Of …

2008, Movies

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008, Steven Spielberg)

This movie has become somewhat legendary since its release, so much so that I went from never wanting to see it to thinking I should probably watch it for a laugh. SPOILERS, I guess.

2016, Movies

Inferno (2016, Ron Howard)

I have never read a Dan Brown novel and I imagine I could not handle reading one. But for some reason, perhaps because I enjoy watching bad movies, this is the second of the adaptations of his novels I’ve seen. I’m not sure this one is as stupid as Angels and Demons, but it’s pretty fucking …

1987, Movies

Cry Wilderness (1987, Jay Schlossberg-Cohen)

This is one of those low-budget movies that thinks that location can substitute for a lack of a good story, coherent character motivations, good acting and competent filmmaking techniques. Specifically, these people got permission to film in a couple beautiful parks in California and apparently decided that this was enough to make a good family …

2014, Movies

The Monuments Men (2014, George Clooney)

This is a reasonably entertaining, but oddly paced and very traditional film that dramatizes the efforts the US went to in order to rescue the art that the Nazis stole in World War II. As far as I can tell, it is very, very, very loosely based on the true story.

2001, Books, Fiction

Life of Pi (2001) by Yann Martel

This review contains major SPOILERS. Hype is a dangerous thing. I heard a lot about this book, all positive, and I heard it for what felt like years. In addition to the hype, I had some aspects of the plot spoiled for me by the existence of the movie. So, basically, I waited way too …

1900, Books, Fiction

Lord Jim (1900) by Joseph Conrad

Conrad is perhaps my favourite (English language) writer from the turn of the last century. I find “The Secret Sharer” to be one of the greatest English language short stories ever written. And Nostromo is a favourite of mine. And yet it took me forever to get into this, considered by some to be among …

1894, Books, Fiction

The Prisoner of Zenda (1894) by Anthony Hope

I thought I was completely unfamiliar with this story as I had not seen the movie nor did I know anything about the book. However, it turns out that I have indeed seen a similar movie, Dave! It turns out that story has been used over and over again by various people. I don’t know …

1888, Books, Fiction

King Solomon’s Mines (1888) by H. Rider Haggard

I was only familiar with this story from the ’80s Hollywood version, which I had been told was drastically different from the book. Sure enough, it absolutely was. So much of it is utterly different as to be (nearly) a different story. But anyway…

1985, Movies

King Solomon’s Mines (1985, J. Lee Thompson)

This is one of those wannabe Raiders of the Lost Ark films, even though it is based on a novel published about 100 years before that seminal film. But unlike some of the other ’80s adventure revivals, this is practically a copy of the Indiana Jones series, albeit with more (attempts at) humour. One could interpret it as a …