Bald Movies – Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Jim and A.Ron saw Alita: Battle Angel tonight, and declare it a mess, albeit a beautiful, groundbreaking one in terms of effects work. This feels like the first half of the third part of a movie trilogy; everything is mysterious, nothing makes sense, the world is being built hastily and right in front of our eyes, and the movie ends right at the beginning of what promised to be a kick ass third act. But if you want to see what state of the art CG looks like in 2019, this is a shining $170 million example.

Bald Movies – High Flying Bird (2019)

We took a look at the latest Netflix original, High Flying Bird. Directed by Steven Soderbergh and shot on an iPhone 8, it tells the tale of NBA management squeezing the players for a reduced share of profits during a labor dispute, and one high profile sports agent that is caught in the middle. It works on the level of a heist film; instead of smooth talking con-man Danny Ocean, we have smooth talking agent Ray Burke. Instead of boosting millions off of a ruthless billionaire casino owner, we’re negotiating for millions off ruthless billionaire team owners. But it also works as a commentary on the power dynamics of labor in general, and on a meta level, the film industry itself. It’s a well made, well-acted, gorgeous film, and it’s final act is as thought provoking as it is fun to watch unfold.

Bald Movies – The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

Jim and A.Ron have seen The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part and it’s almost if not just as good as the first one. Father/son relational dynamics take a back seat to big bro/little sis dynamics for the sequel, but Everything Remains Awesome. This movie is bright, colorful, funny, inventive, and packs a lot of heart. Go see it unless your inner child is dead and your heart is gripped by icy black despair. In which case I’d recommend The Lego Batman Movie, instead.

Bald Movies – The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Special thanks to Hatorian, who by right of conquest in the Bald Move Fantasy Football leagues has won his prize; a commissioned podcast of his choice. He has chosen wisely, selecting the classic 1994 prison/drama/inspirational The Shawshank Redemption. This is a nearly perfect piece of filmmaking, with a confidence in pacing and direction from Frank Darabont matched by the nuanced work of the film’s two leads, Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. We had a lot of fun watching and discussing this one Hatorian. Hopefully, it won’t be the longest podcast of your life…

Bald Movies – Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

Jim and A.Ron checked out the latest Netflix original film, “Velvet Buzzsaw”. Directed by Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo. It functions well enough as a horror story, a farcical look at art criticism, as well as an introspective look at the creative process and the related critical process. We have quibbles here and there, but the film looks great, has some inventive/gruesome deaths, and the main cast has a lot of fun being terrible people.

Bald Movies – Polar (2019)

Jim and I have seen the new Netflix original movie, “Polar”. Based on a graphic novel of the same name, “Polar” is an ultraviolent revenge flick combining elements from “John Wick”, “Crank”, and “Sin City” with an engaging and energetic performance from Mads Mikkelsen as anaaginh hitman. Unfortunately, it’s also a tonal mess, careening from slap stick humor to gory horror and back again, never sure of when to take itself seriously and commit to a point of view.

Bald Movies – Aquaman (2018)

Jim and I missed Aquaman when it first washed up on our shores late last year, but we were lured in by general positive reviews and the massive audience and bank it’s pulling in. What did we think? Unfortunately, while it is clearly the second best DCU film after Wonderwoman, in our opinion it’s not nearly that good, and is still trying to play catch up to their more marvelous competition. Like a lot of these DC properties, it feels equally rushed and bloated, as if they stuffed three Aquaman movies into one. Any one act of this movie would have made an excellent installment of a kickass Aquaman trilogy, given a chance to breathe and establish their characters our connection to them. 

Bald Movies – Glass (2019)

Woof. Jim and I really, really wanted to like Glass, the sequel to the terrific Unbreakable, and the surprisingly good / sneaky amazing Split. And it should work. Bruce Willis, Samuel Jackson, and Anya Joy Taylor are good, and James McAvoy does more incredible work as the Horde. But the script is just about the laziest damn thing we’ve ever seen. Tons of plotholes, characters succeeding not because of their brilliance but others’ stupidity, and Shyamalan indulging the worst of his third act instincts torpedo any chance this movie had to kickstart a new cinematic universe, which is it’s plain ambition. It’s a genuine disappointment, ya’ll. 

Bald Movies – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

We have seen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and declare it to be one of, if not the best Spider-Men movies of all time. Amazingly fun, incredibly inspiring, spectacularly stylish, and endlessly imaginative, Spider-Verse expands the franchise in entirely new directions while maintaining the magic that makes Spider-Man great; the moral obligations of an average person who is blessed with great power. 

Bald Movies – Creed II (2018)

Jim and A.Ron got a one-two punch to their sense of nostalgia as Creed 2 relentlessly broke us and a theater full of Rocky diehards down. It should not be possible to build so much pathos and legend on the somewhat shaky foundations of Rocky IV, but we’ll be d*mned if they don’t. Up and coming director Steven Caple Jr. recaptures the magic of the original Creed, Michael B. Jordan is amazing as always, Sylvester Stallone continues to age like fine wine into the role he was born to play, and Tessa Thompson once again shows that playing a boxer’s wife/girlfriend doesn’t require you to be a human wet blanket. If you’re a Rocky fan, you’re going to like this film.