Critical MeMe

Time spent watching films, even crappy ones, is time well-spent.

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Location: Missouri, United States
    These aren't comments on ALL of the movies through which I've cried, yawned, laughed, and rolled my eyes, but just about everything I've seen since early 2002 is here plus a few from earlier. Post dates reflect my screening & parenthetical dates are the year of US release (aka Oscar eligibility).
    Yeah, a movie review blog isn't very original. But originality is overrated. Just ask Michael Bay.


War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

This series definitely adheres to the law of diminishing returns.

Woody Harrelson commands a rogue outpost of men bent on harnessing apes as a workforce. But will Caesar somehow still become a hero to his fellow apes? (psst: yep)



Only the Brave (2017)

A ragtag collection of guys become a tight team of wildfire fighters despite less-than-promising beginnings. I have to admit that this movie really sucked me in. The idea of people looking for meaning & finding it in a family of men who would likely not be friends outside of the job was heartwarming.

Though based on a true story, I'd not heard anything about it going in so, just in case you're in those same shoes, let me warn you that: you’ll need a handful of tissues and the rest of your day/evening will be ruined.



The Lost City of Z (20176)

Man becomes the foremost English explorer, leaving his wife and young family on their own for months -- sometimes years.

The book was quite a slog and the movie stays true to form. Just very linear with no one to really root for. And the ending suffers from “Perfect Storm” syndrome -- no one who was there is around to tell the story, so all of the dialogue is made up from whole cloth… that feels cheap.



The Foreigner (2017)

Jackie Chan’s daughter dies in a terrorist attack and, when the police have no success in finding the perpetrators, he takes it upon himself to track down and punish those responsible. And that’s pretty much it. There are some kick-ass sequences, but Chan’s starting to show his age (about time).



Beauty and the Beast (2017)

A lovely adaptation of the Disney musical -- stayed faithful with a few fresh twists. Gary and I were both enchanted.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

English wizard comes to America with a suitcase full of magical creatures which (predictably, because the suitcase is shit) escape and cause problems for the local magical community.

It was just a parade of special effects with very little story stringing it together. Redmayne Redmaynes it up, which is tedious.



Battle of the Sexes (2017)

First, Billie Jean is a bona fide bad-ass. She demanded what was fair before there was anything stylish about it and, in doing so, she made a tangible difference in the world. However, this movie doesn’t quite do her justice. It lacked focus so that it fell into a “then this, then this” pattern that made every “then” feel like it was on the same level as every other “then.” Such an opportunity to craft a resonant film that left me wanting more.

I think we should’ve stayed with BJK rather than ever seeing things from Riggs’ point of view. He didn’t matter here, so why devote so much screen time to him? Although, for once, Carell was perfectly cast... but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t annoyed by him.



American Made (2017)

Tom Cruise Tom Cruises all over the place, but I’m not complaining.

Cocky commercial pilot is approached by the CIA to take surveillance photos, which gets him an offer from drug dealers, which gets him more work from the CIA, which gets him Breaking Bad levels of money and a bunch of acreage in Arkansas. It’d be unbelievable if it weren’t true… and I’m still not quite sure how much it CAN be true, even though I’ve now seen pictures.

Fun time at the movies, but there’s something kinda weird about being entertained by such wild excess and danger.