Browse Month: November 2015

Spectre

Spectre (2015): Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes takes his second straight trip behind the camera of a Bond movie, three years after the titanic success of Skyfall. Bond’s 24th saga is his longest, nearly 150 minutes, and his most retrospective.

Many times we see the images of fallen friends and foes from the Craig sagas. Perhaps a symptom of the current world-building Hollywood marketplace, or perhaps a chance to do something different in a film world so constrained, the Eon Productions team succeeded in creating a story that can stand on its own and as a sequel.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The author of James Bond’s pain (no, not Ian Fleming) unearths Bond’s past to terminate his future. Continue Reading

Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow (2014): Doug Liman

Live. Die. Repeat. Few taglines get better than that. Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt. Few headline actors get better than that. Edge of Tomorrow came and went in theaters in the summer of 2014, earning $100 million and finishing the year in 33rd place, a few tickets shy of Noah. It should have done better. Why didn’t it? Perhaps I can address that in today’s edition.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Forced to aid an invasion of alien-held Normandy, Lieutenant Colonel Bill Cage lives, dies, repeats. Continue Reading

Commando

Commando (1985): Mark L. Lester

Arnold Schwarzenegger was a worldwide sensation by 1985, but forgive yourself for ignoring the minor slump of Red Sonja, Raw Deal, and Commando. Those films were sandwiched between The Terminator and Predator, easily two of the finest action movies in history. On second thought, don’t forgive yourself, because Commando is an essential action movie, if not a classic. You probably forgot that Bill Paxton and Alyssa Milano appeared in this movie, but you shouldn’t have.

The shoot for Commando lasted 45 days. Considering the tremendous amount of stunt work, that’s amazing. More stunt people are credited than actors.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: All that matters to John Matrix now is his daughter, Jenny.  Continue Reading

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015): George Miller

Imagine spending thirty years thinking about one creative project. You were ready to make this thing three decades ago, but forces of nature (and Hollywood, and Mel Gibson) conspired against you, always pushing back back back the thing you were trying to create. Imagine now that someone with some power somewhere gave you the green light, allowing you to unleash decades of pent-up ideas and energy, despite your seven decades of life. What would your creative work express? Imagine now that your long-dormant idea was a movie, a movie about the destructive nature of men, and a whole ton of things to blow up. Congratulations, you are George Miller, and you just made Mad Max: Fury Road.

ONE-SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A renegade general steals an armored truck to ferry fertile females to freedom as her boss pursues her with his glut of gonzo gas guzzlers.  Continue Reading

Godzilla

Godzilla (2014): Gareth Edwards

One of 2014’s surprise hits plunked down in mid-May and came away with $200 million, though that was only good enough for 13th on the domestic chart. Still, the success was enough to land Edwards a little movie called Rogue One, or How Princess Leia Stole the Death Star Plans, or If Edward Snowden was of Royal Blood and Could Fly.

Dozens of films after his Japanese debut in 1954, Godzilla arrived on American screens the largest he has yet been. Or at least he seemed that way. Detractors mocked his American fatness, and indeed the King of Monsters has a big gut, despite hibernating for untold decades.

One Sentence Plot Summary: Godzilla awakens to battle MUTOs, humans are killed, San Francisco crumbles. 
Continue Reading