Before anyone reading this starts complaining that I just don’t get what movies like Godzilla: King of the Monsters are all about, that I’m the sort of killjoy who should just relax, let me say that it would be a lot easier to take it less seriously if the people who made the movie cared enough to take it more seriously.
Director Jesse V. Johnson sprinkles in enough cruel twists of fate and melancholy-laced flashbacks to prevent Avengement from becoming just another disposable exercise in action sadism on a budget. The real credit, though, goes to Adkins, who one of these days will hopefully get called up to the Hollywood big leagues and wind up surprising a lot of people — and grin while he’s doing it.
The ever-quickening half-life of pop culture has gotten so short that we’ve now officially entered the era of diminishing returns. It’s the new normal. What’s old is new again — but not quite as good as you remembered it. Aladdin is…fine, but it has no real reason for being beyond, you know, capitalism. A whole new world, it’s not.
I don’t mean to give the impression that John Wick 3 is anything grander than a gorgeously choreographed, gratuitously violent action movie. But as gorgeously choreographed, gratuitously violent action movies go, it’s high art.
There’s plenty of drinking, bonding, and bickering. But none of the jokes feel as barbed-wire sharp as the material you know these brilliant comic actresses could have come up with if they tossed out the script and just ad-libbed.
Hoult brings a quiet, romantic intensity to the young Tolkien (pronounced ‘Tolkeen’, who knew?), Lily Collins does a lot with a little as his first love Edith, and the Hobbit horde will gobble up all of the easter-egg references peppered throughout the movie.
As the wisecracking voice of Pikachu, Ryan Reynolds deserves some sort of special citation for doing the best he can without Deadpool’s f-bombs (or a decent script) to lean on. But the main problem is that the film’s gumball-mayhem plot is so frenetic that it’s impossible to determine if it makes a lick of sense. Maybe that was the point.
There’s something about the movie that makes it all feel as though it’s being presented under glass. Nureyev is more of an idea than an actual flesh and blood character. The only time The White Crow truly shoots off sparks is during its dance sequences. For those brief, beautiful moments, you can almost feel what it must have been like to witness a one-of-a-kind artist at the spellbinding height of his powers taking flight. But then the spell is broken, and the crow falls back to earth.
No matter how shaggy and self-indulgent it is, or how anticlimactic its big so-what of an ending ends up being, I was never bored. More than that, I kind of dug its sheer swing-for-the-fences insanity.
No one can argue that Mary Magdalene isn’t a well-intentioned film. It’s just that while Mara convinces you that Mary deserves a more contemporary reappraisal, she also lays bare the fact that she deserves a better movie in which to accomplish it.
The moments that work the best are the ones where Tammi lets the pace and pulse slow down, lets the ominous wind whistle and groan, and it isn’t trying to turn The Wind into Meek’s Cutoff as interpreted by the director of Insidious.