Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fast 8, Colossal, Gifted, The Lost City of Z Reviews

The Fate of the Furious
Dir. F. Gary Gray
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This eighth entry into the Fast and Furious franchise begins in Havana, with everyone's favorite bald-headed lead-foot, Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel), in a street race using a battered, broken-down crap box car. He still wins, of course ("It's not the car, it's the driver"), but it's hard not to read into this first scene as a metaphor for the series as a whole - really how much longer will the motor run on this franchise before it catches fire and blows up? The first Fast flick after the tragic death of Paul Walker, the unwieldy-titled The Fate of the Furious does its best to one-up itself with some increasingly fun action scenes and car stunts, but with an incredibly generic story and meat-headed characters that are alternately annoying and uninteresting, you need to have some serious patience between the big set pieces to enjoy this gloriously stupid movie.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Ghost in the Shell, Life, The Zookeeper's Wife, Wilson Reviews

Ghost in the Shell
Dir. Rupert Sanders
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Even if you've never seen the classic Ghost in the Shell anime from 1995, chances are you're still familiar with the imagery it's inspired. The Wachowskis' Matrix trilogy, James Cameron's Avatar, and Alex Garland's Ex Machina all borrowed from its philosophical sci-fi ideas and dystopic view of technology. Ghost in the Shell is one of those properties held sacred by its fans, and I'm sure many of them were hoping this new film wouldn't repeat the embarrassment of other Hollywood attempts at adapting anime (let's forget Dragonball Evolution ever happened). While I consider myself more of an admirer of the original film than an enjoyer of it, I'm glad to say this live-action remake solidly captures the spirit of its animated counterpart. It's visually spectacular, the lead performances are strong, and even if this story is one that still left me a little cold, I actually found the remake much more approachable and enjoyable than the original film.

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