Weekly Update: More movies movies movies movies…
Curious what else I’ve seen this year? -Click here to read the full list of movies viewed year to date-
265. A Walk in the Woods (2015)
This is the kind of movie you watch with your parents because it is guaranteed to offend nobody and pass the time amicably. And that’s exactly what led me to watching A Walk in the Woods. Director Ken Kwapis managed to make the dullest possible version of the buddy movie. Robert Redford and Nick Nolte try their best, but neither are able to salvage this junker.
266. The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017)
This latest entry in the Lego film franchise takes a few too many story beats from the first Lego movie and repeats them, combined with less jokes per minute than either of the previous films. While the movie does have some effective laughs, particularly when it parodies Kung Fu movie tropes, it doesn’t do enough to make up for its shortcomings.
267. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
The film doubles down on action/spy movie tropes and then pushes them to ridiculous extremes. Matthew Vaughn treads the lines of genre conventions while slyly satirizing them. Everything about Kingsman: The Golden Circle is over the top and yet everything is perfectly organized. The action choreography is particularly marvelous, with Vaughn moving the camera around dynamically in such a way that the topography of the fight is fully understood. I enjoyed this film even more than the first Kingsman.
268. The Wedding Party (2016)
This Nigerian-made romantic comedy follows two upper class families as they prepare to unite under matrimony. For the most part The Wedding Party treads similar territory as numerous rom-coms before it, but with a cast of very likable characters and solid comedic performances, the movie’s charm holds out.
269. The Innkeepers (2011)
Director Ti West crafted a uniquely meta and low-key horror film with this sleeper. It follows two people, Claire and Luke, on the last night a popular and old hotel is open for business. The two know their jobs are being eliminated, so rather than do real work, they get drunk and set out to ghost-hunt the hotel, having heard for years about an apparition that supposedly haunts the building. The Innkeepers is gripping and fun until the very end, where the climax disappoints with an appeal to genre conventions that were until then being subverted.
270. Gerald’s Game (2017)
Gerald and Jessie are headed to their oceanside cottage for a romantic weekend, intent on trying to save a dying marriage. To add some kink to their sex life, Jessie agrees to being handcuffed to the bed. However as soon as this happens, Gerald dies of a violent heart attack. Trapped and miles from any help, Jessie must figure out how to escape, while slowly losing her grip on reality.
Not unlike The Innkeepers, Gerald’s Game is a film that succeeds in droves until the very end, where the finale just falls apart. Unlike The Innkeepers though, Gerald’s Game collapses so incredibly under its own weight it becomes impossible to recommend. The film is full of metaphor about abuse and overcoming trauma that it is impossible to miss. In the last 10 minutes Gerald’s Game decides its audience is too stupid to have comprehended any of that, and decides to drive it into your skull with a mortar and pestle. If you like having your films end with a dose of fatherly condescension, this could be right up your alley.
271. The Hindenburg (1975)
This 1970s disaster epic attempts to come up with a conspiracy plot to explain the real life Hindenburg Zeppelin disaster. It fails… miserably. Robert Wise does his best to make a dull and very unbelievable story cinematic, particularly with some excellent cinematography around miniature work. Avoid this.
272. The Power of Glove (2017)
There are plenty of Youtube-based documentaries already available that detail the life and quick death of Mattel’s Power Glove accessory for the Nintendo Entertainment System. But this doc is worth a look for its in depth interviews with the creators, which sets it apart from previous attempts to tell the Power Glove story. Those unfamiliar with the brief, but potent pop culture phenomena that was the Power Glove would do well to seek this film out.
273. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
What a surprise to find a long-delayed sequel to such a monumentally beloved film actually manage to impress. Not only that, but it is in many ways more interesting than the original film. Denis Villeneuve takes many of Ridley Scott’s visual flourishes as a jumping off point for a deeper exploration of what it means to be human.