Based on the novel of the same name by Julian Barnes, Tony Webster (Jim Broadbent) discusses the mysterious letter with the former wife Margaret Webster (Harriet Walter). Mr. Webster reconnects with the former love Veronica Ford (Charlotte Rampling) and acknowledges the past. Meanwhile, the Webster duo comforts the daughter Susie (Michelle Dockery).
“The Sense of an Ending” provides the maudlin cautionary tale – the past remains in the past; however, sometimes haunts you. Whereas Broadbent, Walter, and Dockery are underwhelming, Rampling is extremely underused and brilliant. Ms. Rampling should’ve reversed roles with Ms. Walter.
Nonetheless, Ms. Rampling saved the day, regardless of the British charm. B-
The eighty American Belko Industries employees, including Michael “Mike” Milch (John Gallagher Jr.), Wendell Dukes (John C. McGinley), Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn), and Leandra (Adria Arjona) are instructed to participate during the kill or be killed game via the unknown voice (deriving from the company’s intercom system).
Despite the rather mediocre performances, “The Belko Experiment” hates to admit the senseless narrative is the extremely modest guilty pleasure. Greg McLean’s film is excessively gory and disgusting. You may desire to vomit during the bloodbath conclusion. “The Belko Experiment” definitely strains your carnage tolerance, regardless. C+
Disney is enchanted with remaking the classic animated movies into the nostalgic live action films. The live action remakes initially provide magical bliss and the allure a.k.a. the Disney touch is steadily disappearing as of late. So much freaking nostalgia – almost too much that it becomes the curse – for better and for worse. The latest reimagining “Beauty and the Beast” almost emerges as the beast. Yet, the adequate charm remains afloat and saves the day.
Based on the 1991 film of the same name by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, Belle (the utterly exquisite Emma Watson) and the Beast (the equally brilliant Dan Stevens) fall in love. The Beast is selfish and hence, the Enchantress/Agathe (the underused Hattie Morahan) commences the spell – the Prince is the Beast and the castle servants are antiques, wardrobe, and feather duster. Meanwhile, Gaston (the mediocre Luke Evans) flirts with Belle and consistently fails and LeFou (the understated Josh Gad) is the hilarious sidekick.
Disney understands how to tap into the zeitgeist and produce timeless films, regardless of your age. Despite the familiar and predictable narrative – old as time, “Beauty and the Beast” provides stunning production and costume design and irresistible tunes. “Be Our Guest” and “Tale As Old As Time” are easily the highlights and evoke the most nostalgia. The conclusion may allow you to sob once or twice. It’s so darn bittersweet. Nonetheless, the film’s definite meaning is obvious – do not judge folks based on the appearance and genuine love exists with time (slow, fast, whatever the heart desires).
Despite the evident shortcomings, “Beauty and the Beast” sublimely tugs the heartstrings. Be our guest, indeed. B
I attended “Kong: Skull Island” twice during the opening weekend and unfortunately, I must report that the monster film is meh, in simple terms.
Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), and Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) explore the unknown island and confront the King Kong (voiced by Toby Kebbel).
“Godzilla” (2014) pales in comparison to the latest film in Legendary’s MonsterVerse. Despite the awesome cast, “Kong: Skull Island” is tedious – alongside, the subpar performances, action sequences, and visual effects.
The King will continue to live. Meanwhile, Kong deserves the superior film than this tolerable mess. C
Seventeen years ago, Hugh Jackman brought to life the Wolverine a.k.a. James “Logan” Howlett a.k.a. X-24. The Wolverine is ready to peace out ten films later – the initial series, the standalone trilogy, and the spinoffs.
Based on the comic books of the same name by Roy Thomas, Len Wein, and John Romita, Logan Howlett (the handsome yet awesome Jackman) is the caregiver to the ailing Professor X (the rather underwhelming Patrick Stewart). Meanwhile, Mr. Howlett discovers the young mutant Laura (the quietly brilliant Dafne Keen) during the 2029.
I cannot declare “Logan” is the steadfast farewell that I personally anticipated. Perhaps the timing was terrible. The moviegoers demand X-Men during difficult times, especially during the Trump Administration. The X-Men are complete badass and cool, regardless of the era. Yet, the notion of Ms. Keen succeeding Mr. Jackman is admirable – too young to own the additional X-Men series yet. Goddamn it.
The presumptuous final Wolverine film follows the typical superhero recipe – nothing is groundbreaking except the R rating. “Logan” is unsuitable, regarding the youngsters – akin to “Deadpool” (2016). The explicit gory violence is only meant to be seen via the mature adult audience – several beheadings and stabbings and that is only touching the surface. I guess we shall expect at least one adult oriented superhero film every year, thanks to “Deadpool” (cheers to ya, Merc with a Mouth)!
Farewell to the beloved X-24. (But, seriously, I would not be surprised to encounter the Wolverine during the upcoming Marvel films.) B
The individual skepticism is the blessing and the curse. I am able to handle horror films that primarily provide tension. Yet, I cannot fathom haunting narratives that will deliver the nightmares. However, “Split” is a delightful surprise – meaning the darn cynicism is rather terrible.
Kevin Wendell Crumb (the understated yet brilliant James McAvoy) possess twenty three distinctive personalities – including Barry, Dennis, Patricia, the Horde, the Beast, and other characters – identified as dissociative identity disorder (DID). Dr. Karen Fletcher (the underused Betty Buckley) provides the riveting context to the semi original narrative. Mr. Crumb kidnap the troubled teenagers Casey Cooke (the impressive Anya Taylor-Joy), Claire Benoit (the always marvelous Haley Lu Richardson), and Marcia (the rather mediocre Jessica Sula) and lock the threesome in the windowless bunker.
It is safe to announce M. Night Shyamalan returned to form – providing shocking and amusing B movies. “Split” will constantly surprise the audience. You will gasp – the jaw may drop in disbelief. The scattering hysterical jokes arrive during unexpected moments – but the quick revelations are moderate to the point you may or may not foresee the conclusion.
Ms. Cooke enjoys the most character development via the random flashbacks; however, you may yearn to witness additional flashbacks, regarding Marcia and Ms. Benoit. Dr. Fletcher allows you to sympathize with Mr. Crumb and the teenagers – also known as the middle woman – absolutely necessary to care about the insane man.
You could proclaim “Split” is the beast: difficult to pass – genuinely tense, unique, and troublesome to ignore. I guess thank you to the gut instinct – yanking this woman to witness one of the early surprise films to arrive during the 2017. B
Lasse Hallstrom’s latest film reminds me why I own two cats – the grey tabby Abigail and the Black Bombay Jim. There isn’t much to offer – the dogs live and die, the humans live their life with the pups, and Josh Gad’s trite voiceover appears to grow progressively worse during the duration. Imagine “Marley & Me” (2008) including multiple dogs rather than one pup and amplify the saccharine to a thousand that results to manipulative nonsense. Still, I cried – but manipulatively cried because the film tells you to do so. Produce the cat version for cat lovers and remain in bad shape, Mr. Hallstrom. D
Review Structure Key
Regular reviews ~ Word count varies.
Mini reviews ~ Positives and negatives (+/-) analysis.
Brief reviews ~ One hundred words, more or less.