By: Henry J. Fromage –
Finally back at home, I get to focus on some good movies for once. No more mediocre studio comedies for me this week!
156. Bad Times at the El Royale
The Cabin in the Woods’ Drew Goddard returns with another genre pastiche, arguably beating Quentin Tarantino (don’t get too excited- Hateful Eight-edition Quentin Tarantino) at his own game. This colliding strangers with dark agendas thriller stumbles a bit in the third act as it tries to deliver a conclusion as engaging and cool as its setup, but it’s damn well worth your time. Two Beers.
157. First Man
Never before has space travel felt more dangerous nor more realistic. Damien Chazelle knocks his space travel set pieces out of the park by putting the viewer pretty much inside the brave astronauts’ helmets as the beauty and terror, folly and heroism of the moon race unfold before us. Claire Foy is outstanding as a Neil Armstrong’s wife Janet, and Ryan Gosling as the first man on the moon delivers another taciturn man whose guardedness covers a wellspring of emotion- a performance that is easy to overlook come awards time but one that will be remembered far longer by posterity than several of this year’s eventual Oscar nominees. A Toast.
The Raid‘s Gareth Evans takes a turn towards something different with this brutal, mind-bending cult horror film starring Dan Stevens, who sure does love taking these brutal, mind-bending roles as of late. As he navigates a 19th century closeted religious sect and finds the dark secrets that lurk beneath its town and populace, you’ll find yourself drawn in even as all hell breaks loose. Two Beers.