Spike Lee has thrown a very well made, very funny, and very devastating bomb into American movie theaters with his latest joint, BlacKkKlansman. To mark the occasion, we’re not keeping our full review and discussion as a Club Member. Anyone who wants to hear this can. Will White America listen to the message we so desperately need to hear, or hit “snooze” and go back to sleep. What are we going to do about the resurfacing of explicit racism in our country, that has until recent years been hiding beneath the still waters of institutional racism? What will you do with friends and family who bemoan Black Lives Matter, or offer the limp rebuttal that “both sides are bad?” As the movie asks, if not now, when, and if not you, who?
Jim and A.Ron have seen the latest “how old is Tom Cruise again?!” installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, “Fallout”, and it’s crazy. The plot around the absolutely bonkers stunt work is a bit thin, but the stunts themselves fully justify the movie. You can see ever dollar spent and bone broken literally up there on the screen, but it also must be said that these stunts are clinging desperately to the line from believable to unbelievable. And half the time they are careening over that line and land into Fast & Furious territory. Unless they can find an emotional core to build future episodes, this might be as good as a retro-futuristic spy thriller can get.
Cecily and A.Ron have seen the sequel to one of their favorite movies, Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again, and we think if you’re a fan of the original, there is a lot for you to like here. It’s too damn bad the trailers spoiled a reveal that would have otherwise brought the house down, and the first half of the movie might have you worried a little bit. But by the time you hit the half way mark you’re going to laugh and cry so much who even cares what happened in the first act! There are tons of surprises and twists and crowd pleasing moment, the cast is having way too much fun, the big musical numbers are bright and colorful and kinetic… I could go on and on, but the bottom line is we left the movie with a big smile on our faces and red rims around our eyes content. Can’t wait for the Blu-Ray to come out so I can watch it a dozen more times.
Jim and A.Ron are back with another first run Bald Move, this time taking in The Rock’s latest family friendly action flick, “Skyscraper”. Die Hard + Towering Inferno = a pretty damn engaging and entertaining action film, smarter than most, and with plenty of heart courtesy Dwayne Johnson’s charisma and chemistry with co-star (and fellow badass) Neve Campbell. You’re going to be able to predict most beats of the film from the first 10 minutes, but it’s still a pleasure to watch Mr. Johnson do his thing. The flaming 220 story building against the dramatic back drop of Hong Kong serves up several great set pieces and looks great doing it.
Cecily and A.Ron are back to discuss Incredibles 2, a sequel that’s been a long time in the making. Brad Bird returns to direct the original cast and some fun new cameos. If you liked Incredibles, this is more of it in every way. More supers, bigger action scenes, more Mr. Incredible angst, super teenage dating, and the best animal control scene in movie history. The script is literally the same script from the first, with the same twist at the mid-way point, but the plot is really secondary to the pleasure of watching the characters metaphorically and literally bounce off each other.
A.Ron and Cecily are back to take in Ocean’s 8, where Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett head up a team of shady ladies as they aim to steal six pounds of diamonds off the neck of Anne Hathaway while she attends the annual Met Gala. The movie, directed by Gary Ross, looks great, is a lot of fun, but doesn’t really cover much new ground or stray outside the Ocean’s lane that’s been well established. Still, everyone is having a lot of fun, there are a lot of cool cameos, New York looks gorgeous, the series trademark swanky soundtrack is intact, and the third act impresses enough to have us interested in an Ocean’s 9.
We’ve seen Solo: A Star Wars Story and… really liked it! Maybe it was low expectations, maybe it’s just impossible to hate on Han, Chewie, and Lando dashing around the galaxy doing derring-do (although…), all we know is that we found ourselves grinning like idiots throughout huge chunks of this movie. Maybe you will too? It’s hard to tell, I feel like I used to know what a Star Wars fan would like, but after the prequels and The Last Jedi, I just don’t know. The big takeaway is that we’re both back to being pretty excited to see what kind of storytelling can take place in this universe, which is something we were afraid wasn’t possible anymore.
We have seen Deadpool 2! If you saw Deadpool, and liked it, well, here is more of it. It is arguably even better, or at any rate, just as good. We loved Deadpool, and had an even better time with 2. There are more jokes, more over the top action, better cameos, and truly shocking and original things put on screen that you’re just not going to see in other franchises, all done in a very brisk, slick, and above all else, entertaining fashion. The trailer does not ruin this film, there are plenty of fresh jokes and action you’ve never seen. If you didn’t like Deadpool, nothing here is going to change your mind.
It took ten years of careful buildup to make the massive undertaking that is Avengers: Infinity War possible, but was all the effort worth it? Hell, yes. This is hands down the most epic comic book film ever made, and it is full to bursting with Marvel Studios hallmarks; funny interactions within the heroes, inventive and imaginative fight scenes, jaw-dropping, awesome world and universe building, and genuine character beats. The final act contains some effective gut punches that Jim and I are both more than a little skeptical of, but in the moment really work well, and can only really be judged after we see what comes next. At this point, I’m not willing to bet against Marvel.
Jim and I went to see the new horror/suspense film, A Quiet Place, directed by and starring John Krasinski, who is joined by his co-star Emily Blunt. Both are extremely effective at wringing genuine fear and emotion from the audience as they interact with a cast of really talented young actors. There are problems we have with the film, some of them big ones, but the bottom line is the movie offers a very unique theater experience, it’s extremely tense and scary, and the parts that have to work really work well.