Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling star in The Nice Guys, an action comedy from Shane Black -- a writer-director who's long shown a fondness for sending up L.A. noir

The Nice Guys: Crowe and Gosling Are a Hilarious Combo

Shane Black films have a similar structure—neo-noir thriller mixed with “odd couple” comedy. Think Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon, Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans in The Last Boy Scout, or Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, all of which written and/or directed by Black. Basically, if you liked those movies, you’re going to enjoy The Nice Guys. Continue reading “The Nice Guys: Crowe and Gosling Are a Hilarious Combo”

Movie still from The Divergent Series third installment, Allegiant

Allegiant: Will Somebody Pull the Plug on This Franchise?

The Divergent Series feels like the never-ending story. Not only are three books being stretched into four movies, but the movies have gotten progressively worse each time, which makes the slow jog to the finish line that much more unbearable (Did no one learn their lesson after The Hobbit?). Do we blame it on bad filmmaking, author Veronica Roth’s mediocre young adult novels, the bland actors who play one-dimensional characters, or the onslaught of too-similar special snowflake saves dystopian society stories? I say all of the above. Continue reading “Allegiant: Will Somebody Pull the Plug on This Franchise?”

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”

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant

The Revenant Is NOT Leo’s Best Performance

Leonardo DiCaprio wants an Oscar for Best Actor bad. In fact, there are hundreds of memes about his thirst for that little gold statue. But never have we seen an entire movie dedicated to the struggle that is his quest for Academy recognition. Until now, that is. Continue reading “The Revenant Is NOT Leo’s Best Performance”

insurgent movie

Insurgent: Nothing More Than a Means to an End

Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) are on the run from Erudite leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet), who needs a Divergent to open a message box from their society’s founders. Along the way, Tris fights her inner demons while Four encounters his mother, Evelyn (Naomi Watts), who was presumed dead and now gathers an army of factionless to overthrow Erudite and the faction system. Continue reading “Insurgent: Nothing More Than a Means to an End”

johnny depp in transcendence

Transcendence Only Plays at Science and Philosophy

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) and his wife, Dr. Evelyn Caster (Rebecca Hall), are at the forefront of artificial intelligence science. After Will is shot by a member of anti-AI group RIFT, Evelyn and long-time friend Dr. Max Waters (Paul Bettany) upload Will’s consciousness into a computer. Evelyn is relieved to get her husband back, but Max worries Will has too much power. Continue reading “Transcendence Only Plays at Science and Philosophy”

Divergent movie 2014

Divergent: Same Formula, Different Concept

Five factions coexist in dystopian Chicago—Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the friendly), Erudite (the knowledgeable), and Candor (the honest). On Choosing Day, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) must choose one of them. After getting inconclusive aptitude results, a problem that Tris later learns is called “Divergent,” she chooses to join the Dauntless faction, forsaking her Abnegation life and family. Continue reading “Divergent: Same Formula, Different Concept”