Browse Month: November 2016

RECAP: Frank Miller’s Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For

Frank Miller’s Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For (2014): Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller

A rant: Let’s stop the trend(?) of enshrining a director’s name to a movie’s title. Frank Miller did it here. Lee Daniels tried the same trick with The Butler. We’ve already succummed to auteur theory; why hammer the nail further?

A Dame to Kill For uses the same storytelling technique as its predecessor: interconnected stories of down-and-out folks in Sin City. This time around, some of the characters we know, and some we don’t.

There’s also a time-skip. For some characters this film is a sequel, for others a prequel. Sounds confusing, but the aspect actually works.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Sin City is full of a lot of bad people, and they do bad things to each other, and it’s mostly black and white, and there’s nudity and murders and stuff, and some of the colors pop out, and there’s a lot of scenes.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Sin City

Sin City (2005): Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller

An homage to crime noir, the Sin City comic series earned numerous awards throughout its early 1990s run. Frank Miller lived through a dark time in New York’s history, and he poured that pathos into his black-and-white-and occasional-color comic series.

The film adhered to Miller’s aesthetic in tone and visuals. Perhaps no film has come as close to its source material as Sin City.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Three flawed but mostly good guys fight corruption, kidnapping, and murder in the you-don’t-want-to-visit-there town of Basin City, better known as Sin City.  Continue Reading

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW: Doctor Strange

Needing to inject fresh, unknown blood into its cinematic universe, Marvel releases its, get ready to sigh, strangest movie yet.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays his biggest role yet. Folks have heard of Sherlock Holmes, of course, but enough actors have delved into the role to make Cumberbatch a swirl in the milieu that’s made the character what he is in our culture. Consider that Cumberbatch is one of three actors to portray Holmes just in this decade. Continue Reading

RECAP: Westworld

Westworld (1973): Michael Crichton

Used to be that movies borrowed their films from other source materials. HBO seeks to change that up, mining this decades-old sci-fi film for its 2016 series Westworld.

One of the most successful Harvard medical school dropouts, 30-year-old Michael Crichton wrote and directed his first feature film after publishing two best-selling novels.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The robots populating a fantasy amusement park malfunction, killing the park’s guests.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016): Edward Zwick

Jack Reacher goes forward through a ton of bad dudes to investigate some crimes and stuff. There’s a woman imprisoned for a crime she didn’t commit. There’s a possible daughter situation. You get the idea.

Edward Zwick comes onboard to direct a tightly portrayed character-based thriller, not at all like his epic period pieces such as The Last Samurai (also starring Tom Cruise), Glory, or Defiance.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Jack Reacher defends a colleague for a crime she didn’t commit, and both of them protect a teenage girl for some reason.  Continue Reading