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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another split decision on the latest first run Bald Movie, the WW2-themed action-horror film, Overlord. The serious and somber tone set against the gonzo and outrageous action quickly lost Jim. I thought the film delivered a pretty solid war film, followed by a tense and effective horror film, then rounded into a solid action romp that unfortunately started collapsing under the weight of too many action movie tropes. Still, the war scenes are more horrifying than most supernatural spookfests, the characters while basic are appealing, and the effects gruesome and effective enough to deliver the goods, especially if you can turn your brain off for the last act.
Jim and I had a helluva lot of fun seeing the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody tonight, starring Rami Malek. It’s getting mixed reviews, but we’re struggling to understand why. Malek does an incredible job embodying the greatest rock band front man of all time, the soundtrack is just literally all of the greatest Queen hits, so what’s not to like? Unless the movie tells just truly egregious and hateful lies about Mr. Mercury, which we’re not in a position to verify, or the justifiable suspicion around the film’s director is souring people’s opinion on it, we can’t see much not to like.Freddie Mercury is front and center of the stage as he should be, but it does a great job of highlighting the incredible talents and creativity of Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor as well.
Welcome to Cecily and A.Ron’s second annual Cinema Spooktacular, volume two! Ghosts and witches and cults and cannibals and werewolves, oh my! On this podcast, we discuss…