Movies & Films

Reviews of both new release and older movies & films.

Throwback Thursday: Yakuza Beach Vacation In Sonatine

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. Most movie gangsters are portrayed as gritty and passionate. That is not the case in Takeshi Kitano’s Sonatine. The yakuza he plays in this film, Murakawa, is one that has grown tired and disillusioned with the world of crime. When torturing a man who wronged him, Murakawa takes no...

With a Great Reboot Comes Great Relatability in Spider-Man: Homecoming

My first introduction to Peter Parker was by way of a ’90s guitar riff. This was common for me back in the day, as I was prone to watching animated representations of the characters that graced the pages of my dad’s comic books. Since then, there have been several more interpretations of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, some of which have made it onto the big screen. We could probably empty out several web cartridges on whether or not Tobey...

Throwback Thursday: Insert Multi-Pass Joke Here for The Fifth Element

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. As the final space-opera themed Throwback Thursday before CONvergence next week, I wanted to take a moment to shine a light on one of my favorite films, Luc Besson’s 1997 extravaganza The Fifth Element. Owing a huge debt to the production design of Jean “Moebius” Giraud, and Jean-Claude Mézières,...

Throwback Thursday: Star Trek: The Motion Picture Boldly Makes a Television Series Into a Film

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. There’s one franchise I’ve steered clear of in these columns. One that has over 50 years of material ranging from television, films, cartoons, novels, and comics. You name the media, Star Trek has been a part of it for over half a century. What do you focus on? In...

The Mummy Is Horrific, and Not in the Way It’s Meant to Be

Since movie franchises are all the rage nowadays, Universal has fired up its roster of classic movie monsters for the new Dark Universe film series. First step: give the mummy a makeover to be suitable for an action film. Wait, an action film? Of course—you didn’t expect Universal to spend over $100 million on a horror icon and not make it an action blockbuster, did you? That’s just the world we live in, but I was willing to hear...

Throwback Thursday: The Alien Menace Is Real in Starship Troopers

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. In a newsreel that takes a page out of the Triumph of the Will playbook, 1997’s Starship Troopers opens with a clip for military service and citizenship, and it doesn’t let up on the jingoistic propaganda for the rest of its runtime. While a modest success at the box...

It Comes at Night Won’t Be Soon Forgotten

I’ll just start this off with a variation of the spoiler alert. This is a mean movie. This is not a movie to go to if you are feeling the full weight of the world and utter despair with humanity. This will not help you. This is certainly not a movie to go to if you think horror films are all chock-full of knives, boobs, and masked killers. Likewise, if you cringe at the thought of “art horror” (see...

Three More Reasons Why Wonder Woman Is an Important Movie

It wasn’t until about sixth or seventh grade that I realized that Wonder Woman was my absolute favorite superhero. Image Comics had just hit the scene, and the nerdier among us were spending as much time as we could at the comic shops reading, discussing, and debating the brand-new characters from a brand-new publisher and some of the biggest artists and writers in the industry. Like many geeky debates, we nitpicked, criticized, corrected, and teased each other’s opinions, all...

Throwback Thursday: Delving Into Frank Herbert’s Dune

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. In compiling the list of space opera films I wanted to cover before CONvergence 2017, I added one of my favorites: David Lynch’s would-be opus Dune (1984). However, when I had my one-year anniversary column at Twin Cities Geek, I covered the entire oeuvre of Lynch (which you can find...

Wonder Woman Is a Movie with Character

Like many braces-wearing, pigtail-rocking, itty-bitty geek girls, I gravitated toward the female characters in my childhood media. I adored Princess Sally in the Sonic the Hedgehog Saturday-morning cartoon and waited with bated breath for her to appear in the games. (She didn’t.) I mastered the “Spinning Bird Kick” with Chun-Li and took down the villainous M. Bison—and then I did it again with Cammy’s “Cannon Drill.” I cheered for Barbara Gordon when she decided to put on the cape...
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