Credit Apple TV marketing for finally pushing me to see the biggest movie of the year.
What I do is not up to you.
There are nice bits of Wonder Woman that absolutely soar. But…
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Perhaps my biggest problem with superhero movies is they all end exactly the same. Wonder Woman is no different, which is too bad — because otherwise I found myself having a good time. I didn’t even mind the beginning non-titles (see posts on Les Miz, Selma, and the upcoming one for Logan Lucky.)
Two trailers included below. This movie is growing on me, but for now my original evaluation: 6/10
War for the Planet of the Apes features lots of great visual sequences, and a sense the filmmaker knows what he’s doing — which is refreshing. A generally well-executed story, if a not particularly original one. (SPOILER:) See Comparison Notes to understand why not particularly original.
War is inferior to the last episode of the franchise, but it’s still good. Note: despite being billed as “the end,” it won’t be. A fourth film is in the works. 7/10
Comparison Notes (recommended): Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
There were many moments of exhilarating fun, and other parts that dragged it down. End result: Baby Driver soars above most films of its ilk. 7/10
Pursuit – run-in, pursuit – run-in, pursuit – really big run-in, end of movie. This basic, worn out, unengaging and paper-thin plot structure is the bane of many superhero and “action” films, and to some degree explains the disparity between the Tomatometer and my score on a movie like Logan. Almost makes you wonder if all these other critics are so dim as to not recognize the formula, or somehow think it novel.
I liked the feisty girl, and the performances in general were OK. I’m a bit of Hugh Jackman fan — from Les Miz at least. Add in a little fun to get 4/10.
Comparison Notes: the much better Mad Max film from a couple years back
Like Everest, Deepwater Horizon fails at the most most crucial point. But at least Everest was an engaging picture. I still don’t know what or how the explosion(s) occurred, and I don’t want to reverse-figure out the movie on Wikipedia. A good documentary on the subject would have been infinitely better — so I guess I’ll wait for that on PBS. I did like the parts that weren’t just a bunch of banging, and John Malkovich was perfection. 4/10
Comparison Notes (recommended): Captain Phillips, Sully, Gravity, Everest
Suicide 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
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For a real female superhero movie, I suggest La Femme Nikita. And for a real evil-doer movie, Dead Calm.
Nerve became fairly gutless in the second half, but its fun-factor boosts it to a marginal thumbs-up. 6/10
UPDATE: Now 7/10; slip it up a few notches, next to The Nice Guys, on the 2016 list.