RECAP: Iron Man

Iron Man (2008): Jon Favreau

The first of many, many entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man introduces film audiences to Tony Stark, the richest self-made superhero since that guy in a bat suit.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A rich playboy, captured by enemies in Afghanistan, builds a flying armored weapon and becomes a new hero.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Hanna

Hanna (2011): Joe Wright

From the director of Atonement comes Hanna , a movie about a child who can kill you eight ways from Sunday. Get ready for Joe Wright and The Chemical Brothers to bring you the best-scored action movie of the decade.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A girl raised alone in the subarctic wilderness returns to European civilization the target of a vengeful CIA agent.  Continue Reading

RECAP: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017): Guy Ritchie

Have you heard of the Camelot legends? You haven’t? Not for a few days? Have I got a movie for you!

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Arthur, young and not yet a king, draws Excalibur and faces his uncle, Vortigern, a usurper.  Continue Reading

RECAP: The Wall

The Wall (2017): Doug Liman

On the heels of the critical success Edge of Tomorrow, Doug Liman made a tiny movie called The Wall. For $3 million you get Aaron Taylor-Johnson rolling around in sand and treating leg wounds. Also, there’s a sniper.

The Wall came and went about as fast as a bullet from 1,500 yards, its impact minimal. Released in mid-May, the film fell into the wash of the rocket ride that was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. 

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A crumbling brick wall is all that protects an American soldier from an Iraqi sniper’s bullets.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Mockingjay (Parts 1 & 2)

Mockingjay (2014 & 2015): Francis Lawrence

Not the first and not the last to try it, studio executives at Lionsgate split the final book of The Hunger Games series into two films.

The movie were hits at the box office, and likely made more as two movies than as one, but each of the two parts of Mockingjay paled to the huge box office and high quality of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.

It probably didn’t help that Katniss Everdeen, the hero, stood on the sidelines for much of the final installment. The driver of her narrative when in the arena, Katniss takes orders from those who’ve fought the war against President Snow for decades.

Much like Aaron Rodgers backing up Brett Favre for three seasons as Green Bay Packers quarterbacks, Katniss waits her turn until the final moments, when one decision changes history.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Newly minted symbol of the resistance, Katniss Everdeen fights President Snow as a propaganda tool in District Thirteen’s war against The Capitol.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Catching Fire

Catching Fire (2013): Francis Lawrence

She thought she was out, but they pulled her back in.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Katniss Everdeen, reigning champion of the Hunger Games, re-enters the arena, but this time the stakes are higher.  Continue Reading

RECAP: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (2012): Gary Ross

In the future, the United States no longer exists. In its place is a state called Panem, ruled by The Capitol [sic] and comprised of 12 Districts. At least 74 years ago there was a District 13 and rebellion. The Capitol squashed both, and The Hunger Games were born, all the better to remind the districts to forget about future rebellions.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: In a future autocratic society, a teenager living in the sticks volunteers to compete in a 24-person fight to death, broadcast live, for the amusement of many.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Die Hard

Die Hard (1988): John McTiernan

In late 1987 Bruce Willis won an Emmy for his role in the ABC series Moonlighting. Little did he know, little did anyone know, that in less than a year he would become the third in a triumvirate of modern action star gods.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A New York City cop travels to a Christmas party in Los Angeles, foils a robbery, has a few laughs. Continue Reading

RECAP: Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell (2017): Rupert Sanders

A famous anime film from the 1990s, Ghost in the Shell got a live-action adaptation in 2017. It starred several white actors, despite taking place in Asia. Is this fact enough to sink the film? The controversy probably hurt the box office intake, but did it hurt the movie?

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The first human brain-robot body hybrid fights domestic terrorists in Asia and seeks to remember her past.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999): George Lucas

We should have known how The Phantom Menace would turn out when the opening crawl came on, and in the first line was the phrase “taxation of trade routes.” If you want your space blockbusters to discuss senate procedure when it could be having a space fight, take a seat!

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Trade Federations, Senate squabbling, the Republic, and other bureaucratic entities bog down rights protections across the galaxy, but also there’s Jedi and light sabers and the Force and stuff.  Continue Reading