Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Miss Sloane

Jessica Chastain plays the roll of Sloane, a brilliant lobbyist in D.C. She cuts all the corners she is legally allowed to cut to get the results she needs. She is ruthless, effective, and supremely lonely. When she is approached to lobby for the NRA, her narcissistic, ego driven self propels her to choose the other side, working to get a gun restrictions law passed. What follows is a political thriller that twists and turns and, while mostly predictable, left me with the same satisfied "whoa" as I remember from Primal Fear. Loved it.
4 stars (out of 5)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Last Witch Hunter

Vin Diesel plays an immortal protector of humanity from witches. The witch council has come to an understanding that they will not be hunted as long as they don't ply their witch trade on humans. This makes for some interesting "witch bar" scenes reminiscent of the Mos Eisley cantina scenes set on Tatooine. Diesel gets a witch sidekick and then goes on to re-conquer the queen of all witches who is working to come out of her death hibernation (of which Diesel originally placed her hundreds of years ago). The story holds together well and Diesel plays Diesel to his full effect.
3 stars (out of 5)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Third in the Divergent Series films, this went straight to video. It was not any worse than the others in the series, and in fact wrapped up the series quite well. Tris and Four finally take a trip beyond the wall, find that they have been part of a genetic cleansing experiment, and then fight back to make Chicago independent. My guess is that the decision to not release this to the theater was based more on general dystopian fatigue, than on any quality concerns. I rather liked it.
3 stars (out of 5)

Sunday, May 7, 2017


Salma Hayak in a grindhouse movie. Worth a shot. I am not a grindhouse connoisseur or fan, necessarily. Maybe the most interesting part of this is that the entire thing is filmed in a single room. Otherwise, it plays out as Hayak working as a prostitute in a building owned by her pimp. When she tries to get out, she basically needs to defend herself from a long series of assassination attempts. These attempts all come to her (hence the all in one room). Pretty typical grindhouse explicit gore and borderline steampunk vibe. But not particularly engaging as a nominal fan. So I can't tell you how it ends since I never made it that far.
1 star (out of 5)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2

First, let me say "I am Groot". In fact, you don't really need to know anything else. Vol. 2 is remarkably similar to Vol. 1. Unfortunately, the fun of Vol. 1 was the unique and clever, outside the box, superhero eccentric ensemble cast. But to go with that, vol. 1 built the box, so repeating it in vol. 2 is no longer outside the box. Advantage lost. The plot of this film follows Starlord and his crew continuing their bounty hunter ways, getting in trouble by really being criminals, and then chasing down family history only to find that family is effectively god. Narcissistic god at that. Overall, I would put this in the category of cheap thrill.
3 stars (out of 5)