Film Review of “Eternals”(2021)

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It was six minutes into watching Eternals (2021) when I first realized I was bored and at 47 minutes I did what I didn’t expect myself to do. I turned the movie off and returned the disc to its case.

I checked the movie out from my local public library, so it didn’t cost me a dime, but at a run time of two hours and thirty-six minutes, it would drain away that much of my life to watch. It didn’t “do it” for me.

Unlike the other Marvel movies I’ve watched, I had no connection to the original comic books. I’ve never read any of them. So there was no nostalgia to drive me forward. The movie lived or died on its own for me. Well, it died.

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Film Review of “No Time to Die” (2021)

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Just finished watching (as I write this) the most recent James Bond/007 film No Time to Die. It pulled quite a bit of time, 2 hours and 45 minutes, out of my life, but in this case it was well worth it.

Just to get this out of the way, during the theatrical release, I recall Lashana Lynch who played Nomi/007 said some rather unpleasant things. I can’t really remember what they were and it doesn’t make any difference at this point. Just for future note, it’s generally important when you’re promoting a film as did Brie Larson and Captain Marvel (2019) as well as Simu Liu and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, to put on your best attitude in front of the public and press.

The film begins with a young Madeleine Swann (Coline Defaud) and her (drunken) mother Mathilde Bourbin in a lone cabin in a snow covered countryside. They are suddenly beset upon by a masked assassin Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek) who is intent on killing Madeleine’s Father. Apparently the Dad was an assassin for Spectre and on their leader Blofeld’s (Christoph Waltz) orders, murdered Safin’s entire family. Finding the Dad not home, he kills the mother but saves Madeleine from dying.

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Film Review of “The Matrix Resurrections” (2021)

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I just finished watching The Matrix Resurrections (2021). I found it in the “new movies” DVD section at my local public library, so renting it costs me nothing. Watching it cost me time (2 hours and 28 minutes) which I’ll never get back.

First of all, I went in with not great expectations. Actually, I didn’t know what to expect.

What I found was that for the first half to two-thirds of the film, I toggled back and forth between interest and boredom.

I probably missed a lot of references to the previous trilogy. While I’ve watched the original The Matrix (1999) dozens of times, I’ve only watched the two sequels one time each. I wasn’t particularly impressed and didn’t see the need to re-watch them, let alone buy the movies.

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Review of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

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I was actually surprised to find that I liked Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021). In its own way, it is reminiscent of Black Panther (2018) starring the incomparable Chadwick Boseman. There was a similar worldbuilding based on various Marvel comic book concepts and many wonderfully endearing characters. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

In the original 1970s Master of Kung Fu comic books started by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin, Shang-Chi was the estranged son of Dr. Fu Manchu, a pulp fiction character created by Sax Rohmer in 1913.

The series began by introducing Shang-Chi as a man raised by his father Dr. Fu Manchu to be the ultimate assassin for the would-be world conqueror. In Shang-Chi’s first mission, he kills one of his father’s old enemies, Dr. Petrie and then learns of Dr. Fu Manchu’s true, evil nature. Disillusioned, Shang-Chi swears eternal opposition to his father’s ambitions and fights him as an agent of British intelligence, under the orders of Sir Denis Nayland Smith.

In the early 1970s, Chinese Kung Fu movies were huge in the west as was Bruce Lee. There was even a disco song called Kung Fu Fighting. In addition, there was a television series called Kung Fu starring David Carradine.

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Review of Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” (2021)

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It took two days for me to work my way through the two-disc set of Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021). I saw the 2017 version and wasn’t incredibly impressed. I was hoping for more in the “Snyder Cut.”

Given the breadth of this film, I’m commenting on things in no particular order and this review will not be comprehensive.

At slightly over four hours of run time, there’s plenty of room for character development, origin stories, and “mood,” but I think it could have been a shorter, tighter movie.

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Film Review of “Black Widow” (2021)

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I found the 2021 film Black Widow as a DVD at my local public library yesterday. Naturally I checked it out so I could watch and review it. I’ve heard various unflattering things about the movie, and I wanted to see for myself.

Oh, tons of spoilers follow, so if you haven’t seen the movie and want to, don’t read any further.

In no particular order:

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Film Review of “John Wick” (2014)

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Promotional poster for the 2014 film “John Wick”

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I’ve been hearing a lot about John Wick (played by Keanu Reeves), but mainly as a meme. Basically, if you kill Wick’s dog, he comes after you with a vengeance. I didn’t really know what it meant.

I knew there were three Wick films out and a fourth pending. I thought maybe the movies were based on a book series or something (they’re not).

So when I was at my local public library yesterday and saw the 2014 original “John Wick,” I figured “why not?”

Knowing nothing about the film or the character, it was hard to get into at first. Who is this wounded, dying guy at the beginning? Why is he watching a video of a woman, apparently his wife Helen (Bridget Moynahan), on his phone as he bleeds out.

Then the rest of the film as a flashback.

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Review of “Wonder Woman 1984”

ww84

Promotional image for the film Wonder Woman 1984

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I finally found the movie Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) as a DVD at my local public library and saw my opportunity to view and review it.

I’d read quite a few reviews already so I had a pretty good idea what to expect. There were a lot of people disappointed at the “woke” aspects of the film, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

First of all, as always, Gal Gadot totally owns the role of Wonder Woman/Diana Prince. She deserves the highest praise for her portrayal of the character and for bringing a truly iconic hero to life.

I felt a little sorry for Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva, especially at the film’s beginning when she was so beneath everyone’s notice. No, not just men’s but even Diana didn’t warm up to her at first. It was cringeworthy watching the stereotypically shy, socially inept, yet highly intelligent person trying to make her way through life.

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Film Review of “Blade Runner 2049”

2049

Promotional image for the film Blade Runner 2049

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I finally got around to watching Blade Runner 2049 (2017) last night on DVD. At 2 hours and 44 minutes long, I felt it was too long. Yes, there was a story to tell, and it’s a good story, but if this is the theatrical version, then the studio allowed director Denis Villeneuve to indulge himself.

I’ve never seen the theatrical version of Blade Runner (1982), only the Director’s Cut which I reviewed here. It’s considered the better of the two 1980s films, so I probably will never get around to seeing the original.

Since this movie is four years old, I’m not really worried about revealing spoilers, but if you’ve never seen it and want to at some point, stop reading here.

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Review of “Outland”

outland

Promotional image for the 1981 film “Outland”

On an impulse, I decided to watch the 1981 film Outland. I remember seeing it back in the day on cable, and remember thinking it was “okay.”

It’s still “okay.”

All star cast with Sean Connery, Peter Boyle, Frances Sternhagen, James Sikking, Clarke Peters, and John Ratzenberger made it bearable, but the story was mediocre at best and the “decompression” special effects were ridiculous.

The story goes that Federal Marshall William O’Niel (Connery) and his family are assigned to a mining colony on Jupiter’s moon Io for a year. O’Niel’s wife and son hate it and almost immediately abandon him to return to Earth. Meanwhile O’Niel discovers some nefarious doings on Io.

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