Best Summer Movies 2018

Summer movie season officially came to an end last week, but that’s hardly a bummer because in terms of studio filmmaking it’s been a truly remarkable one. I’m still pinching myself at all the movies we got to see. (I’m 70% sure M:I – Fallout was just a dream.) TIFF and Telluride are well underway with lots of buzz for the upcoming Fall slate. Don’t get pretentious with them Oscar bets just yet. Here are my picks for this year’s best summer movies.  Continue reading

Comic-Con 2018 – Best Trailers

No, I didn’t change my Twitter handle to obnoxiously brag about my attendance this year. I experienced Comic-Con like the rest of you – vicariously through social media. Compared to the usual bombast, it was a rather light year for sneak-peeks. Disney, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm sat this one out, though it’s hardly a loss because they’ve got the D23 Expo. (Disney’s Comic-Con, basically). Not even HBO was in attendance, presumably because Game of Thrones is in the midst of shaping its feature-length final season.

With the usual suspects gone, Warner Bros. emerged as Comic-Con’s undisputed champ. AMC and BBC also debuted footage of their sizzling IPs, so literally everyone who’d typically be overshadowed by Marvel got their due justice this weekend. In standard ranking fashion, here’s a list of sneak peeks that’ll get the hype train going for me all summer long.  Continue reading

Snitch: Dwayne Johnson and a Hard Place

I was about ten minutes into Rampage when I realized I had seen this movie before. The situation will be built up to extreme peril. Dwayne Johnson will utilize the skills conveniently part of his character’s makeup. He will be convincing, charismatic. He will save the day. Sure, there are giant video-game monsters in Rampage, but the concept is basically a fill in the blank. You could substitute the scenario with the biggest earthquake of all time, or the tallest building in the world and get basically the same movie. In watching Rampage, I longed for something smaller, muted, more serious that allows Johnson the actor to take center stage. I realized we already had such a movie – 2013’s SnitchContinue reading

Ant-Man: The Little Superhero That Could

There’s a never-ending charm to Ant-Man’s shrinking powers. In the summer blockbuster game, it’s go big or go home. The world’s ending. Shit’s blowing up. The good guy’s gotta stop the bad guy. Cue half-hour finale. 2015’s Ant-Man is all of the above except refreshingly, cheekily scaled back. Peyton Reed’s film has no other ambition than to charm and entertain the hell out of you. I didn’t admire it then. I respect the hell out of it now.  Continue reading

Millie Bobby Brown and the Depths of Meme Culture

No, Millie Bobby Brown isn’t homophobic. She’s not racist. She’s not a hateful bigot. I can’t believe this needs to be said, but in lieu of a series of escalating memes ironically portraying the Stranger Things-star as otherwise, this is where we’re at. The curiosity of meme culture and our insatiable thirst for the next *100K+ sensation! has unduly brought us here, and not without consequence. Millie Bobby Brown has left Twitter in response to an apparent in-joke done in incredibly poor taste. It sounds like we’ve entered a warped reality – normally an ideal setting for Eleven – except this is very real and utterly upside down.  Continue reading