Amy Adams in Arrival (2016)

Arrival: Who Knew a Movie About Alien Linguistics Would Cut So Deep?

Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario), Arrival isn’t your typical sci-fi. Yes, it has the striking visuals of aliens and their ships (on a fairly modest $50 million budget, I might add) and a truly unnerving yet gorgeous score from Jóhann Jóhannsson (The Theory of Everything, Sicario), but it’s less focused on the “wow factor” of science fiction. Instead, it chooses to be a deep and devastating story about life and human connection. And throughout all of it, it examines the role language plays in those moments. Continue reading “Arrival: Who Knew a Movie About Alien Linguistics Would Cut So Deep?”

Movie still from Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond: It’s Fun and Nostalgic, But I Have Some Notes

And so we continue the “Summer of Sequels” with Star Trek Beyond. The third installment of Star Trek no longer has J.J. Abrams at the helm, though he’s still producing (Side note: I find it hilarious that Abrams was criticized for making Trek movies that felt too much like Star Wars, and then he made an amazing Star Wars film). It’s now in the hands of Justin Lin, who’s credited with saving the Fast & Furious franchise. Combine Lin’s franchise mojo with a screenplay written by Simon Pegg (who doubles as Star Trek‘s Scotty) and Doug Jung, and you get Star Trek Beyond, a fun, action-packed movie stuffed with Trek nostalgia. It’s more cohesive than Star Trek Into Darkness, but it still has some issues… Continue reading “Star Trek Beyond: It’s Fun and Nostalgic, But I Have Some Notes”

TMNT: Out of the Shadows movie still

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Is Slightly Better Garbage

If you saw 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you’re probably wondering why there’s a sequel. Because it was bad. A CGI-monster, Michael Bay-produced pile of shit that somehow managed to become a Transformers movie and make creepy dude-bros out of once beloved heroes. But, as always, the answer to the “Why make a sequel?” question lies in that sweet, sweet blockbuster money. Continue reading “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Is Slightly Better Garbage”

10 Cloverfield Lane starring John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead

10 Cloverfield Lane: The Mysterious “Sequel” Isn’t Exactly a Sequel

10 Cloverfield Lane has been a giant mystery ever since its trailer appeared out of the blue. It was a project not even its actors knew was a relative of the 2008 found-footage-style monster film Cloverfield. In fact, the original working title of this film was The Cellar, and it was known as such all the way up until the trailer’s release. That’s how secretive this movie is. But what do you expect when it comes from J.J. Abrams, the master of secrety secrets? Continue reading “10 Cloverfield Lane: The Mysterious “Sequel” Isn’t Exactly a Sequel”

Daisy Ridley and John Boyega - Star Wars Episode VII

It’s About Damn Time We Had a Movie Like Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Do you remember the feeling you had when you first saw Star Wars? No, not the prequels. I mean the original trilogy starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford. Well, you’re going to get that feeling again when you watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens (a.k.a. Episode VII) because it captures everything that was good about the original trilogy. That’s right—J.J. Abrams did what some of us (including me) thought to be impossible. Continue reading “It’s About Damn Time We Had a Movie Like Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

jurassic world - chris pratt and bryce dallas howard

Jurassic World: Bad Story, Badass Dinos

Twenty-two years after the failure of the first Jurassic Park, a new park called Jurassic World has been established on Isla Nublar to continue the vision of the late John Hammond. But in order to get visitors to come back each year, they need to keep introducing new dinosaurs, which leads the park’s scientists to create a genetically-enhanced, super-intelligent hybrid called the Indominus Rex. Continue reading “Jurassic World: Bad Story, Badass Dinos”

Tomorrowland Is Smug, Self-Congratulatory Crap from Disney

When optimist and science lover Casey (Britt Robertson) sees a futuristic world after touching a pin she discovers among her stuff, she teams up with inventor Frank Walker (George Clooney) to find Tomorrowland and save the world from imminent destruction. Continue reading “Tomorrowland Is Smug, Self-Congratulatory Crap from Disney”