By: Hawk Ripjaw –
The story of 12 soldiers that kicked a ton of IS-ass while on horseback definitely sounds cool, but the movie based on that story just screams mediocre. Despite the presence of a handful of good actors, it looks fine. Just fine. Maybe some compelling action, maybe some decent performances, but nothing profoundly effective in either direction. You won’t hate it. You won’t love it. You might watch it, and enjoy some Michael Shannon (as we all do), but at the end of the week you’ll be more pressed to describe that movie that you really like that just got added to Netflix. It’s a shame, and our soldiers probably deserve something better, but they’ve definitely gotten much worse.
Den of Thieves
Given that Gerard Butler’s recent string of movies have been reliably, hilariously terrible (Gods of Egypt and Geostorm in particular practically defines the subgenre of film that gets better with alcohol), I’ve got generally high hopes for this. Even better, it’s directed and written by the screenwriter of London Has Fallen, which featured enough bad one-liners to fill an entire series. Butler seems to have settled comfortably into a niche, and as long as that gets him paid and gives us something to chuckle at, we’re all happy, right? Den of Thieves looks maybe less bombastic than the last few Butler blockbusters (BlockButlers?), but could definitely deliver as long as it has enough self-awareness and flashy action.
Apparently it’s 2 hours and twenty minutes long, which is absurd for something like this.
Forever My Girl
The great thing about Forever My Girl is that it’s one of those generic titles that could really mean anything. A Nicholas Sparks-style romance, perhaps? Maybe a thriller about a man stalking a woman? A necrophiliac drama? Or could it be some cinematic Venn diagram of all three? Unfortunately, I’m getting myself all worked up for no reason as Forever My Girl appears to fall squarely into the former category. A man leaves his girl at the altar and goes on to make Christian Grey money as a country music star (seriously, the trailer alone features both a helicopter and a nice car). After developing an alcohol problem and very, very ironically singing about lost love, he decides to return home where his ex-fiancee has apparently been sitting staring at the wall for almost a decade for him to return. Also she was pregnant.
Maybe it’s unfair for me to pick on a movie whose target audience is so far removed from myself that I wouldn’t even watch it with a gun to my head, but also maybe I’m not entirely wrong.
The Phantom Thread
I don’t know much about this movie other than it mostly features Daniel Day-Lewis yelling at people as per usual, but this is also a Paul Thomas Anderson film, which is almost a guaranteed good movie at this point. There’s a reason Anderson takes this much time to make a movie, and there’s a reason that Daniel Day-Lewis takes this much time between them. The men are serious and meticulous at what they do, and the fact that Daniel Day-Lewis took his character so seriously in this movie that it’s possibly what drove him to want to retire is intriguing. And the fact that I’m intrigued by a movie about a guy that designs dresses and tries the dating life is just weird.
PT Anderson has set a very high bar for himself. That’s a good thing, because he usually manages to clear it.