Nov 17 2017

Justice League

In light of the recent death of Superman (Henry Cavill) the fate of planet earth is being threatened by Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), destroyer of worlds. Meanwhile, sensing the impending doom Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) assembles a league of extraordinary individuals including Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash (Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller) in order to save the world. But what if they’re already too late? With Writing and Directing credits going to both Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon, Justice League is a bit of a breakfast scramble of comic ideals, sometimes irregularly blending the philosophies of these two cinematic titans, one with seriousness the other with levity. Serving the franchise as a whole, the film also doesn’t spend much time setting up three of its pivotal characters but instead leaves their stories open to exploration later; a quick aside, I’m told the bits of origin that the audience does get are a bit of a touchy subject of inaccuracy for hard core comic fans, but what’s new? In the meantime, the overall piece is still somehow assembled in a functional albeit clunky manner despite having had approximately an hour of footage exorcised from the film, impressive. Composer Danny Elfman also scores points in effectively gluing the film together in a consistent and inspired direction. Bottom line, while not on tippy top of the DC quality pile, it’s certainly stronger than a handful of fellow contestants, you’re in for a “fun enough” film that’s worthy of seeing on the big screen. Justice League is rated PG-13.

Nov 10 2017

Murder on the Orient Express

Aboard the mythic Orient Express a group of colorful characters mix and mingle until murder strikes in cloak of darkness; now, it’s up to the investigative genius of Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) and his mustache to solve the mystery before the train arrives at its destination and time runs out. Based on the novel by Agatha Christie, and Directed/Produced by Kenneth Branagh this visual smorgasbord of color, light, and art deco decor dresses to impress. Meanwhile, well metered performances from Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom Jr., and Michelle Pfeiffer set up a fresh brand launch of a celebrated literary classic. Cinematically stunning in its creation Branagh offers the world the latest film to be shot in 65mm, providing cinefiles a true feast for the eyes, although pacing of the film does become a bit of an issue into act II as events move at a slower pace, perhaps too slow for younger audiences, alas a strong finish to act III brings redemption for the viewer, it’s clear the big guns are indeed begging to roll out for Oscar season. Murder on the Orient Express is rated PG-13.

Nov 3 2017

Thor: Ragnarok

With the future of Asgard hanging in the balance, the mighty Hela (Cate Blanchett) at the throne and hungry for more power, Thor and Loki (Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston) find themselves trapped on a planet on the outskirts of civility. Forced into a gladiator style battle against the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor will have to rely on his own inner strength, not just his hammer, to set things straight, but what if he’s already too late? Directed by known comedic force Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shaddows, Eagle vs. Shark) the tone and timbre of this latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe speaks in an irreverent manner from the get go, having fun with the franchise and disarming many hostilities and doubts within the first 2 minutes. Loaded with cameo appearances including Jeff Goldblum and Benedict Cumberbatch this intergalactic romp stops at nothing shy of entertaining despite its otherwise ordinary trajectory sitting nicely within the franchise especially as the opener to the holiday film season. Thor: Ragnarok brings the levity in heavy and makes for an easy watch totally worthy of your dollar and time. Thor: Ragnarok is rated PG-13.