Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Baby Driver

Spoiler-free!

is Baby. Baby likes two things and dislikes one -- music and driving, and talking. He's a getaway driver for Doc () a mastermind of bank heists. Doc likes to switch up his teams, but he's been working with Baby for a long time. Some of the hired thieves are unnerved by their driver's penchant for silence filled with groovy tunes. Like Griff (), he's a little gruff, and Bats (), he's crazy. But others, like the married couple Darling and Buddy ( and ) get it -- sometimes you need to have that killer track. is a diner waitress named Debora. She likes Baby, and he likes her. Now he likes three things, and that's when the trouble begins.

B-A-B-Y, Baby.

The movie is written and directed by . He likes music too, and stylish movies, so he made a movie to the beat of some cool music. He called it "Baby Driver," and set it once upon a pair of wheels.

Only Edgar Wright can make a film with hype this big and still deliver a movie so charmingly aloof from the pressures of expectations. The enlightened few who have seen his Cornetto Trilogy are a people crazy for exceptional movies, and expected no less from Wright's latest experimental effort. Wright is not in the business of fan service, and thank goodness, because making movies he thinks are good inconsiderate of others' potential opinions is the best way for him to serve his fans and uninitiated viewers alike.

Wright cuts off potential doubts and criticisms at the pass by opening the film with firm establishment of the film's tone, style, and character of its lead in the first five minutes, saying, "this is how this movie is gonna be." And with a smile on our slack-jawed expression and our toe tapping to the beat, we adjust our expectations accordingly. Then he does it again in the next three minutes. The rest of the movie, so perfectly grounded by the cold open could have gone in any direction with me happily in tow, but in the end the direction it takes is one of, well, direction.

The plot isn't at all complex, but it takes us where we want to go.

Comedy is put into the details as a highlight, and fun is a constant because what's a film that isn't entertaining, but then the underlying base of this film is high-stakes, important, and often intense. It has heart, it has meaning, and there are smart themes to appreciate. This is mostly due to writing that is brilliantly aware of the movie as whole even in the midst of smaller scenes, able to thoughtfully connect it all in ways invisible until the conclusion of the picture. Sure the film might only exist because someone was inspired to set a movie to music instead of the usual reverse, but then effort was put into making the story worth telling even beyond the wacky gimmick. The result is a flick that confidently stands alone, supporting its elements instead of leaning on them.

Another important conductor of the film's compelling nature is Ansel Elgort. In true form for Baby, Elgort wins us over without having to say a word. He immediately proves he's capable of handling the film's action and cheekily comedic elements, and performs precisely timed choreography to the music with gleeful aplomb. In short, the kid is adorable, and the movie is better for his presence. On the dramatic and dialogued side of Baby, he takes on a stoic demeanor and gets to underplay with just enough subtlety. Lily James is also adorable, and the two were probably incapable of not being cute together. Debora is less of a player in plot as she is a motivator of it, with not a lot of screen time, but certainly makes the best of what she has.

A simplistic but extraordinarily charming romance.

Other supporters feel no less characterized and caricatured. Kevin Spacey is cool and confident with a splash of complexity. Jamie Foxx is fun and always unexpected with his unstable and batty Bats. Jon Hamm becomes surprisingly sympathetic, perhaps because of his innate charm. And Eiza González's Darling is an insanely likeable chick. Details like tattoos on Darling and Buddy that read "his" and "hers" are present for gleaning more out of the characters if you so desire. It adds an implied history, enriching the characters, even if specifics are left out. Everyone involved plays comedy and drama inseparably in classic Wright fashion -- the way humor and light charm can enhance seriousness is not lost on him, and it is applied with complete disregard to screen time, making even side characters full and compelling.

But good characters or not, this movie's full focus is on action. Obviously, there are car chases, and there are gun fights, and other things you'd expect from a movie about bank robbers, but there's also some unconventional action, in the form of scene business done in rhythm with the music. As exciting as the car stunts and shootouts are -- always set memorable locations and performed and shot for maximum entertainment -- it's those precise scenes of specific and casual movement done in difficult long takes that impress with their style and the ease with which they come off on screen. The true shoot-'em-up action never forgets the music either, and while it's more sporadically synchronized, synchronized it still is. It is a thing glorious to behold and thrilling to experience.

I loved it at ten seconds in. What's really impressive is that the longer it ran the more I loved it.

I sometimes despair that the art of filmmaking has reached its limit and nothing will be original anymore, and then a movie like this gem will come along and restore my hope. Masterfully crafted out of a spectacular passion for filmmaking, and using all the elements of the art to push the limit to groundbreaking places, Edgar Wright and Baby Driver puts music in our ears, spectacle before our eyes, and a love affair in our hearts. My love of music and movies is refueled.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Host

Sometimes I watch movies and don't review them. I'm unsure why I'm not doing that in this case, because to be perfectly honest I'm not exactly proud that I watched this one. That is to say, it's downright embarrassing, and one of my more shameful movie choices. I knew what I was getting into, yet here we are. Why did I watch it, you ask? Let me paint you a picture:

It was the night after I watched Logan for the first time, and the rest of my family was not ready to watch it again. I was (and for the record still am) freshly enamored with the easy to love and fun to hate snide chatterbox of a villain of Logan, and the actor who played him, Boyd Holbrook. A quick perusal of his IMDb page informed me that I had only seen him in one movie previously, (A Walk Among the Tombstones, where he had a small role I barely noticed) and was in three more movies I immediately knew I had easy access to. And one, as you've probably guessed by now, was The Host, which I had casually plopped into my Netflix cue on the excuse that it was an film, with a vague inclination to watch it if I had nothing better to do and was in the mood to kill some brain cells. It's amazing how fast a vague inclination can turn into a legit interest with the proper incentive. I was like, "hey, let's watch this," and in my defense, no one protested.

And in their defense they liked this guy in Logan as much as I did.

But enough of the disclaimers. Movie review. The Host. I feel like the most accurate review I can make is to give a hearty laugh while waving my hand dismissively, but I'm a writer, so I suppose I should try and put it in words.

Spoilers beyond!

In the movie, Earth has been invaded by parasitic aliens who posses humans and take over their lives. At the very beginning, our heroine Melanie (), a human rebel is caught and possessed by an alien called Wanderer, who, it turns out is nice -- unlike the villain () -- and when Melanie's mind refuses to leave the body to the invader, the two form an unconventional friendship. Wanderer gets to control the body, and Melanie yells things in her head. Wanderer turns to Melanie's side and runs away in search of Melanie's brother () and hunk boyfriend (). She finds them along with her uncle () and other human survivors -- including a good looking dude named , I mean Ian, and his brother Kyle AKA (AKA "oh yeah, that's why I'm watching this") -- who have a cute little community going on in some caves in the desert. Melanie's family assumes that she is dead, but conveniently decides not to kill the alien possessing her. Meanwhile Melanie inconveniently decides that telling them she's still inside is a bad idea, so Wanderer keeps quiet about it, causing some very convenient drama.

You can tell the possessed because the alien parasite makes their eyes glow blue. Also probably worth mentioning; wrote the novel.

If you're thinking this doesn't make any sense, that's because you're right, it doesn't. The aliens are pacifists, trying to make the worlds they conquer peaceful, yet more often than not possession kills the host. (Hey, that's the name of the movie!) They're so "pure" we're told, they are incapable of picking up a gun. The villain is, however, conveniently able to for some magical reason, and shoots and kills people which in the movie's eyes make her infinitely worse than every other alien who kills by kicking souls out of bodies. This issue is brought up by "antagonistic" human characters to create conflict, but is never resolved.

For their part, the humans will go out, kidnap aliens, and forcibly remove the alien soul, which has a 100% fatality rate for both parties. They don't know how to remove the soul properly, but don't know what else to do, so they keep trying. This I suppose could balance the morality of both sides, making them equally wrong, but instead what the humans are doing is presented as barbaric. It never seems to dawn on Wanderer (Wanda for short, who's really the main character) that what her people are doing is at least equally terrible. Anyway the movie uses the conflict for drama when it wants and ignores it when it wants. On to lighter, sillier things.

Ship ship ship ship ship ship ship ship ship ship ship ship...

Love triangles! Yay. Actually it isn't quite. Melanie and Jared are consistently in love, but it's super awkward for him seeing "Melanie" walking around not being Melanie... especially when something starts growing between Wanda and Ian. The more you think about this the weirder it gets, because Wanda is literally just a parasite that is thousands of years old. Ian insists that he fell in love with her mind, but why in the world should their minds be compatible? And she could have fallen in love with anyone, why the guy who is a good physical match for her? Also he tried to kill her, but bygones I guess, or, whatever.

So with Jared being possessive of the girl who looks like and is possessing his girl, and the girl who looks like his girl liking someone else, but being hesitant to do anything about it because the real girl is in her head yelling at her not to, things really do feel like a love triangle; only, one that was created to have a happy ending for all involved. Yes, this scifi plot exists for the sole (soul!) purpose of enabling ideal romantic situations for its characters. It's truly amazing how many situations are contrived to bring about kissing too. I am actually impressed. It was as if that, and not the plot or the characters were the point of the movie or something. Odd, but that couldn't be, right?

Hahahaha... ha... RIGHT??

Now I'm going to talk about Kyle even though he's pretty insignificant to the plot and the entire point of the movie, because, I want to. He's the main human antagonist, which is an unnecessary and therefore small part, but I watched this movie because of him, and danged if he wasn't the best part. At one point he tries to kill Wanda, but plagued by the convenient writing, almost dies himself instead. Wanda saves him (against Melanie's protests) and then even lies about what happened to protect him from punishment. This is a good moment for Wanda, and also for him, and I enjoyed Holbrook's performance in that scene as the bad guy who suddenly finds he has to rethink everything after being given some unexpected and very undeserved grace.

Overall the entire cast isn't bad either, but campy writing can bring a bad performance out of anyone. Saoirse Ronan's Wanda was a good lead, but Melanie is underdeveloped. Being a disembodied voice for the majority of the movie did her no favors. She has decent chemistry with her two co-stars, which was important for what the film wanted to be. Jake Abel's Ian was much more interesting than Max Irons' Jared, who was about as blank as Melanie, even with screen time. Ian and Wanda were fundamentally more interesting because of the way we get to see their relationship develop. It ends with a bit of a cringe though, because while Ronan and Abel had chemistry, Abel and did not -- she being the empty body that Wanda is transferred to in the twist ending, giving Melanie hers back. Browning was only there a couple minutes, but was spectacularly incapable of convincing that she was the most developed character in the film once she took over.

That twist ending should have won an award for Most Obvious Twist Ending Ever.

This review is already way longer than it deserves to be, so I guess I'll wrap up. The movie succeeds in being what it was conceived and designed to be. Oxymoronic connoisseurs of YA romance are perfectly catered to, and as long as they have no perception of what actual good, artistic filmmaking looks like, satisfaction is guaranteed. The small part of me that enjoys teenage romance flicks was mildly amused. The scifi fan in me was both intrigued (by the premise) and irritated (by the lazy and one-note direction it took). And the movie reviewer-me is absolutely appalled at the senseless plotting and cheap scripting used to contrive laughable romance, but still had fun cracking up at all those unintentionally hilarious moments this movie deals out like glowing blue eyes and pointless make-out sessions. In conclusion: It was a terrible movie, and time well spent!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Logan

Spoiler-free.

I finally got the Blu-ray and watched Hugh Jackman's last run as The Wolverine, and I am here to confirm that it is indeed an R-rated superhero film. I also believe that it is an ideal R-rated superhero film. Mainly because it doesn't stop at being R-rated, and it doesn't stop at being a superhero film. It understands that those things alone cannot a great film make, and like its hero, it does not stop.

My copy also came with a black and white "noir" version. Looking forward to watching that.

I always find that the best superhero flicks are what you might call "superhero plus." Examples: Guardians of the Galaxy; superheroes plus space opera. Ant-Man; superhero plus heist film. Captain America: The Winter Soldier; superhero, spy film. It's a good way to make your comic book film stand out in this tired and over-saturated market, and the further you veer from "superhero" to "plus" the more naturally original the film appears to be. And now, here's Logan -- a western film, in everything except the almost throwaway fact that Logan is a superhuman mutant.

He's not even invulnerable anymore as the Adamantium that makes up his skeleton is leeching into his body and poisoning him, slowing his healing abilities and sticking him with a bad cough to boot. Now he limps through the film, scarred, weary, and haggard. Almost not even recognizable anymore -- almost. Logan is so different from what we've seen of him before, but truly it's more as if we've never seen him accurately before now, and this bitter, grimacing old man with bloodshot eyes is the true and honest version of Logan -- one the PG-13 movies were forced to hide from us. Even in those toned-down flicks has never taken a misstep playing his iconic character, and with his dedication everything he does as Logan is guaranteed to be optimal; here, even going so much darker and deeper and pushing the boundaries further than ever, it is no different. He is Logan, through and through. Maybe I should feel more impressed as it is an impressive performance, but it is also no surprise.

With the realistic futuristic tech and the fantastic aging makeup, it truly feels like a film from the near future.

I was impressed, however, by Sir 's equally aged and reshaped Charles Xavier. My logical mind knows he is a superbly talented actor perfectly capable of complex performances. The rest of me completely bought that there was a feeble old man with dementia on the screen. With the combination of the performance with the makeup Charles is suddenly so much more than the honestly flat and uninteresting straightforward mentor he used to be. Now he is sad and complicated and a magnificent mixture of harrowing and funny. The all-important make-or-break element of the film was the little girl Laura, played by . With great screen presence she pulls off the part from the beginning, and from there only continues to add to the impressiveness as more about the character is continually revealed. The animalistic intensity of her fighting -- on par with Wolverine's -- is excellent and sells the risky character.

And with how reliable Jackman is, and how necessary the R was, she was probably the film's only risk. Paid off.

The dark horse for favorite character is the villain, Pierce, played by . In such a hard and intense film is nice to have that one character who's determined to enjoy himself, and that's what this guy is. He likes the sound of his voice, and he likes his mechanical hand, and he likes his villainous position, and he's out there to make the most of it all. This might be an apt description of the actor as well -- and I'd say they both succeed. At any rate he's an easy-going, casually antagonistic kind of character that finds a delightful balance between charming and sinister. I found myself looking forward to his appearances and growing happier whenever he survived another scene. When showed up playing his superior, I was afraid he'd be replaced as the main villain and forgotten, but that doesn't happen, though Grant gets his time to shine creepily as well. Also worth a mention is as Caliban. I imagine I'd appreciate the part more if I knew the character previously, but the value of his inclusion was not lost on me.

Just keep on rockin' that neck tattoo, bud! (between starting this review and finishing it, I've seen him in two more movies, but no I'm not obsessed why would you think that.)

With no rating holding back the filmmakers from exploring the deep recesses of these characters and shaping a unique heart out of the mature fodder, the film's themes and emotional focus take on unusual shape. It is, again, much more western than anything else, and the issues at hand follow that theme. Though in our world the story wouldn't make news, the stakes -- personal, fleshed out, and tightly focused on -- seem huge. Bigger and more important even, than the traditional end-of-the-world plots of the X-Men of yore. The destruction is small but the impact is massive. And you don't need an R-rating to get that, but it certainly does seem to come naturally with it. Kudos to the writers and director for knowing what the movie needed to be, and sticking with it to the end.

The easiest way the film could have been distracted was in the action. Instead, it may have been its greatest strength. Firstly they really make up for the seven movies where Wolverine wasn't allowed to stab people in the head. I never knew how much he needed to do that until now. Then they also remember to match the action with film's scale and emotional center. Small destruction; massive impact. Check. Also not forgotten is the film's most basic roots -- superhero film; western film. With those genres it's the action that sells and they deliver on those promises. It's something they needed to do, but it's also obviously something they wanted to do. The action sequences and fighting -- while always connected to the plot in significant ways -- are hugely important elements, and great care and attention was given to them. Each sequence was unique. The choreography was spectacular. And the filming captured it deftly for maximum entertainment.

Visually unique and beautiful, but perhaps more importantly, visually memorable.

That goes for the whole movie in fact; the cinematography added beautiful interest to a story that on paper might give the impression of being boring. But with the characters there's always something to think about, with the cinematography there's always something to look at, and with the action there's always something to be wowed by. I have one grievance and that was the brief nudity -- in a movie that was otherwise refreshingly R out of necessity, it was irritatingly unnecessary. Otherwise the filmmakers stayed on target to keep the movie focused on what was important, and the result is a structured and concise work of art, moody, gritty, and full of heart -- with a massive impact. Logan and Hugh finally get the movie they deserve. Our happy fate is that we get to watch it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wonder Woman

Spoilers are marked.

Diana, () the only child on a hidden island Themyscira, grows up in a cheerful and innocent state of warmongering. Her mother the Queen () tries to keep her a safe distance away from fighting, but, driven by awed love for her kin's history (in which they helped Zeus defeat the evil god of war, Ares when he tried to corrupt mankind) Diana wishes to be a warrior. Prophesy says that Ares lives, will return, and can only be defeated by a weapon that Zeus made as he died. Diana wishes to wield that sword, and her aunt () trains her until she can. Then a stray pilot crashes in the ocean. A man. () (Cue a cheesy yet endearing grin!) He tells the Amazons of a terrible war to end all wars, and Diana knows this must be the return of Ares, so she takes the sword and goes off to save the world!

Charging a German trench. Why? In the words of my brother: "She can't not."

The best thing about this movie, time and time again, is Diana. Her heart is as pure as a baby lamb frolicking in untouched snow, and she's as innocent and naive as you'd expect of a girl who's lived a couple thousand years on a mystical island inhabited only by women. Yet she has confidence in her strength and in herself, and no petty need to advertise. My personal favorite characteristic though, is her joy. Even when she's not explicitly happy, she constantly exudes a joy for life; she relishes beauty and goodness, and you can see her eagerly soak in her surroundings, wide-eyed. She is also passionate and noble, and Gal Gadot gives her such life with a charismatic and confident performance. If more women could lead these kinds of movies with such unaffected grace, people wouldn't need to try and force it to happen.

I'm not one eager to go gaga over Chris Pine, so I was pleased to find that his Steve Trevor is a character who earns his worth. He, like Diana, is noble and passionate, but having lived through four years of the Great War, these traits have been repressed and replaced with hardened logic. He does what he can, and ignores what he cannot. He doesn't understand Diana or what she is capable of, thinking that her naivete could put her in more danger than she can handle. He tries to protect her and guide her through the unforgiving world, and as a result is continuously surprised by her unwillingness to see evil and do nothing about it, and her ability to do what he would never dream to be possible. Pine puts a damper on the swagger for the character (in comparison with Star Trek) and the result is an increase of heroic charm.

My favorite small moment was here, where she admires herself in the mirror without a hint of vanity.

Pine and Steve both are great supports for the film and its heroine. As a duo, Steve provides some great fodder for Diana's fish-out-of-water moments -- an element that can be hit or miss, and here was hit after hit, endearing her to us over and over. Their chemistry wasn't top-notch, but "good enough for a superhero flick" was all that was really required. In the end Steve's character is there to enhance Diana's, and that was done with aplomb. Conversely, none of the three rag-tags who follow them (, , and ) made much of an impression. I was simultaneously surprised at how little effort was put into them, and confused as to why they felt the need to put any effort towards them at all. They helped to move the plot, but their characters were mostly distractions, only.

Doctor Poison herself () also proved to be all but useless as a character, which was disappointing after she seemed well set up to be a formidable villain. In fact, speaking of the villain... (Spoilers!) Once 's Ludendorff is revealed to not be the main villain his being so underwhelming makes sense. Ares is really , and while he does a fantastic job making himself memorable after his reveal lets him loose to be villainous, it is unfortunate that he didn't get more time due to his identity being kept secret. It was a good twist for the movie, but let the character down a bit. That epic bit where he gets his armor does its best to make up for it, and if it doesn't completely, it was close enough, because woah. (End Spoilers) On the island, both Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright give great performances on some hardcore characters. And last but not at all least, as Etta, Steve's secretary makes herself a worthy addition by being charming and funny.

She's got super strength, but also has featured qualities common and befitting to femininity. Like compassion, for which she has no chill.

Obviously characters were what made the biggest overall impression on me here. Though the only truly outstanding one was Diana herself, I still appreciate that director set out to make this action blockbuster an equal-part character piece besides. Diana makes up about 50% of the movie's worth; everything else (Steve, the action, the style, visuals in general, themes, and writing (the value of a good one liner should never be overlooked) makes up about 40%, and there's 10% or less of want. So, action wise: There is no shortage of stylish action where the enjoyment hits levels of sheer glee that we haven't seen come out of DC since Nolan. It's great stuff, enhanced even further by how much fun Gadot is having performing it.

It does have two shortcomings however. The first is overuse of slow motion -- and this is coming from a movie where slow-mo is considerably more appropriate than average -- there's a lot of it. Often it works, but one or two fights could have used some restraint. The other is that the action is sometimes cut... safely. Probably to avoid awkwardness in the movement. It can be jarring and disjointed feeling. Both these problems can probably be traced back to a lacking in fight choreography; individual stunts are fantastic, but are sometimes strung together with awkward flow. Visually the film is nothing short of stunning, and when action sequences make use of visual appeal they are at their best. And with the insipid dullness of the recent past, I feel it's appropriate to praise this movie's bold use of vibrant color. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate it.

Honestly I wish she'd served in the war longer. There could have been twice as much of the historical side of the war. And of her running into the fray bECAUSE INJUSTICE IS BEING DONE AND SHE MUST STOP IT. I love that about her so much.

Wonder Woman hardly feels like a DC film at all, only reminding us via short bookends. After all the murky sludge that has come from Snyder of late, a film that sets out to entertain and dazzle and have fun seems incredibly original and endlessly welcome. It's more like a Marvel, in fact, with obvious similarities with Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger present in the plot, but not so much as to make the film feel redundant -- not even close. This film even exceeds Marvel's later efforts with its gleeful and unashamed joy. It seems thrilled to simply exist, and its greatness is a natural consequence of that joy and devotion. It doesn't conspire to prod or manipulate its audience, but to share its story with us, and let us share in the wonder; and maybe inspire or move us with some words of wisdom. In other words, Wonder Woman is everything she needed to be.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Upcoming Movie Roundup - June

In May the only movie I went to see was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. And while I enjoyed the mess out of it in the moment, it hasn't made much of a lasting impression. Check out my review of it here! I still want to see the other releases I mentioned eventually, and may go see Pirates after a while, but right now is my busy time of the year, and theater trips must take a backseat for a bit.

This month looks to have two must-sees to get to over summer, plus quite a few that will be staying on my radar as they pass through! What are you most looking forward to seeing in the month of June?


Wonder Woman
Jun 2nd; PG-13
Well -- no matter what happens with the film, we know they can make a super epic trailer out of it! It looks a bit like Thor and a bit like Captain America: The First Avenger, but it's got a female lead and comes from DC. Wonder Woman was one of the best parts of Batman v Superman, so from my perspective her film has the potential to be the best film from DC since The Dark Knight. It appears to have a coherent and interesting plot which is promising, and the flood of overwhelmingly positive responses so far is creating some huge waves. I'll certainly be seeing this one in theaters, though probably not for a little while due to extreme busyness. At this point it doesn't seem to be too much to hope that all the hype it's built up for itself will be lived up to!




Dean
Jun 2nd (limited); PG-13
Ah, the classic indie film, with the kinda goofy-looking, low key depressed and cynical lead, who wanders through a mildly aimless but pleasant jaunt of a plot, falls in love (maybe) and feels a little better by then end (maybe). Yeah. I may sound a bit cynical myself about this, but honestly this is the kind of flick I'd spend all day on lazy Saturdays watching if only I had access to more of them. So put me on the waiting list for this one too. Bonus: Kevin Kline!




The Mummy
Jun 9th; PG-13
The beginning of a new universe franchise of connected monster films including Jekyll and Hyde and Frankenstein and such -- they're calling it Dark Universe! But they're a bit behind. This flick seems to be more of a remake of the Brendan Frasier version then the 1932 original, but whatever. No matter it's to-be connections or general quality, one thing is almost certain: that it will be entertaining. That is Tom Cruise's specialty. I also enjoyed Sofia Boutella a whole lot in Star Trek Beyond so I'm looking forward to her playing a potentially over-the-top villain like this! As for quality, we'll have to wait and see.




The Book of Henry
Jun 16th(limited); PG-13
This movie has been making some waves coming up -- maybe mostly because it's directed by Colin Trevorrow who has a small but good track record and is set to direct Star Wars Episode 9. It also has both Jacob Tremblay and Jaeden Leiberher, two of the biggest child actors right now, and Naomi Watts who always puts everything into her performances. The plot is unexpected and unusually serious for a film with a child lead, and the trailer, as ominous as it is, also has some extra ominous undertones that are making me wonder if there's gonna be a happy ending here. If I see it it'll surely stress me out, but right now it looks like it would be worth it. The movie also promises Lee Pace, but unless I missed him, he doesn't appear in the trailer.




Maudie
Jun 16th(limited); PG-13
A performance-driven indie. This one's about the Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis, played by Sally Hawkins, and her husband, Ethan Hawke. Since it's based on a true story, I'd imagine they play up the drama a bit to make it more interesting, but it does look like a sweet tale, and I like the two actors, so if ever I get the chance I'll probably give it a watch.




Kill Switch
Jun 16th(limited); R
Okay... a scifi film starring Dan Stevens. Yes, take my money! But wait -- what's this? A catch? Turns out most of the movie is in POV so we won't get to see his face, doing all that acting stuff? Why? We already had to deal with this issue in Beauty and the Beast. Can someone make an awesome scifi movie with Dan Stevens and actually put Dan Stevens in it please? Besides him the movie doesn't look too great, but because it's a scifi, and because Stevens is in it (however little) I'll probably still watch it at my earliest convenience. I expect I'll be disappointed though.




Transformers: The Last Knight
Jun 21st; PG-13
Ugh. The over-stimulation is for real. I could barely even stand the trailer. It is nice to see Josh Duhamel back though, but that's about it. If you enjoy these movies chances are this one will be no different, but for me it's looking even bigger than the last one, which means it'll be even better for making fun of it whenever we can get it for free! Enjoy it how you can, right?




Baby Driver
Jun 28th: NR
Haha, I was about to say this might be my most anticipated movie of the month! No "might" about it friends -- if this isn't the highlight of my movie-June, there isn't gonna be a highlight (okay fine, Wonder Woman could easily be a highlight, but you get my point). Edgar Wright directs this one which is all I really need to know, but it will also feature a boatload of music (makes sense with Wright) and all long cast list of Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx. The trailer makes the film look super stylish and tightly edited (Wright, again). Seriously, there is no bigger draw than the director, and the premise out of which you know he can make one killer film! (With one killer track!)