A Pedestrian Movie Critic

I love the movies. I’ve seeing a lot of movies lately since, for now anyway, the theater is a short walk from home. In fact, I did a movie a week in April and while not at that breakneck pace, saw three more in May.

At that pace, the reviews have to be quick, so here’s a 25-cent review of some this spring’s big, and not-so-big motion pictures.

First up, London Has Fallen. An apt sequel to Olympus with similar non-stop action, slimy villains and a body count through the roof. If you enjoyed the first, you should like London.

Next, Tina Fey’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. A good personal-growth-thru-risky-adventures story and if you like Tina Fey, and I do, you’ll like the movie.

Last week, it was Batman v Superman, Dawn of a Franchise. I missed the previous Superman so I spent the first 20 minutes trying to guess what events and dialogue meant. The 3D version I saw was OK and did enhance the CGI destruction, but at 2:30, the movie is 45 minutes too long.

Finally, this evening I saw Old Wolf Dancer himself, Kevin Costner, as The Criminal in the latest in a long line of movies about how changing a man’s identity really changes who the man is, or something like that. More plot holes than a swiss cheese, the movie’s only redeeming quality was the villains, one of whom plays Wonder Woman in the Batman/Superman movie.

Next up, the Angry Birds movie and Teenage Goofy Turtles. Kidding.

A brief pause, followed by…

Catching up on my movie reviews. A couple weeks ago, I watched old reliable, Tom Hanks, turn in a snoozer of a performance in sleepy movie called Hologram for the King. I can see why most critics turned in lazy reviews because this is a lazy movie. Yeah, the book was popular, but sometimes that doesn’t translate to the big screen. I’m sure by now it’s gone from the multiplex, so maybe catch it on cable if you’ve nothing better.

Then there’s X-Men: NeedlesslyExcessive-calypse. Bryan Singer has come such a long way from The Usual Suspects that it’s hard to believe he’s the same director. From the frenzied, incoherent opening credits to the save-the-franchise ending, the latest X-Men is further proof the comic-book era has run its course.

Finally, this evening I found myself unexpectedly entertained watching Money Monster, directed by Jodie Foster and brightly illuminated by Julia Roberts and George Clooney. Foster shows she learned a few things about suspense movies by acting in films like Inside Man, Flightplan and Panic Room. Here she builds suspense even as we know we’ve seen the story before. And while I expected the evils of capitalism to be on display, the story turned on individual greed rather than a rigged system.

Maybe Money Monster proves that the run of horror films set on Wall Street has run its course, too. Naah, Hollywood needs villians and CEOs are an easy target. Looking forward to July and Ms. Ghostbusters and Jason Born-again. See you at the movies.