Film Brief: In Order of Disappearance

In Order of Disappearance is a lot of fun.  It’s just too bad the conclusion is so pat.  On balance, a solid recommendation; 7/10.

Note 1: I’m including the more comically-biased trailer below, compared to the American versions which play up the drama unnecessarily.  Note 2: I saw this in the theater in Minneapolis, but it’s also available to rent on iTunes for $7.

Film Brief: Don’t Breathe


Don’t Breathe isn’t always credible, nor as compelling as the best in the genre (“Riveting Rentals”, e.g.), but it’s certainly not boring.

There’s something juicy about protagonists who get in way over their heads when they themselves are not entirely innocent.  Criminal Lovers represents the best execution of this idea.  Don’t Breathe: on the low end of 7/10.

Comparison Notes (all recommended): The Visit, Vacancy, The Last House on the Left

Finding a Good Movie in 2016, Come Hell or High Water

Hell or High Water is a refreshing release for a year which is stacking up to last year in awfulness, movie-wise.  This is one of my favorite genres, the modern western.  Like No Country for Old Men, which draws the obvious comparison, Hell or High Water frames its action in the context of pursuer and the pursued.  But the filmmaking approach cannot measure up to the Coens’ masterminds; rather, this film is more an easy division of labor along the lines of Falling Down.

hell-or-high-water-text-blockWhich is still good company to keep.  The retiring-cop-on-his-last-assignment ploy is an unnecessary and decidedly non-refreshing cliché, but when that cop is played by Jeff Bridges in top vintage form, you don’t mind so much.  There’s one more scrape: If you need a scene at the end recapping the whole movie, that’s a bad sign.  Still though, Hell or High Water is entertaining and fun.  A solid recommendation; 7/10.

Film Brief: Suicide Squad

suicide-squad-posterSuicide Squad is the most hyped movie of the year by far, so despite the poor reviews I took it as my duty to go see it. Plus, it looked kinda fun.

The funny thing is that although it was terrible, it wasn’t worse than any other latter-era superhero / comic-based movie.  Which is to say critics can’t find the line between good and bad action flicks.  2/10

* * *

For a real female superhero movie, I suggest La Femme Nikita.  And for a real evil-doer movie, Dead Calm.