No Escape (1994)

no escape

Lord of the Sighs

No Escape begins with a text crawl which informs us that in the then-distant future of 2022, all prisons are controlled by corporations.  It’s a promising enough – though hardly original – basis for a movie, but it turns out to have little bearing on No Escape’s actual narrative, which turns out to be more Mad Max-light than the futuristic prison break movie it initially promises. Continue reading

Extraction

extraction

The Bodhi-guard

The first thing one notices about Extraction is the bizarre name of Chris Hemsworth’s character.  Tyler Rake is clearly meant to be a punchy action-hero moniker, but there’s something off about it; it’s both too silly and not silly enough.  The script attempts to get ahead of the criticism by making a knowing joke about it, but it remains a distractingly misguided touch.  In short, the name doesn’t work, but at least the movie (mostly) does. Continue reading

Bloodshot

bloodshot

Flop Goes the Diesel

Bloodshot has the dubious honor of being the last movie I saw in theaters before the Coronavirus shutdown.  I knew that theaters in my area were due to close the next day, and I was so desperate for one last classic moviegoing experience that even the blandest piece of trash would do. Continue reading

Sonic the Hedgehog

sonic

Blue Streak

After a rocky production that saw the special effects team rebuild the title character from scratch, no doubt increasing the budget in the process, it’s a minor miracle that Sonic is not only a success, but a good movie.  Not a great one, by any stretch, but I’ll take what I can get. Continue reading

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

birds of prey

A No-Quinn Situation

The first thing one notices about Birds of Prey is its title: a nineteen-syllable mouthful that’s messy, unwieldy, and has way too much going on.  Regrettably, it’s also a sign of things to come. Continue reading

Captain Marvel

captain marvel

Captain Obvious

The best thing about the release of Captain Marvel is that it brings us one step closer to the end of the nonsensical internet drama surrounding it.  I won’t be going into that here, chiefly out of self-preservation, but a quick Google search should inform the more masochistic among you.  I’ll offer just one thought on the matter: things as trivial as superhero movies have no business being cultural battlegrounds.  Consequently, this review will only cover my thoughts on the movie itself – not its “impact,” nor “what it means,” nor “why it matters.” Continue reading

Aquaman

aquaman

I Come from a Land Down Under

There’s a shot early on in Aquaman that sums up the movie better than any review could.  Preparing for battle, an underwater cavalry unit enters formation, each soldier mounted astride a bus-sized great white shark.  One of the massive beasts, restrained by its rider, thrashes its head and roars.  It’s a moment that perfectly encapsulates the movie’s attitude: you’re either on board for all of this lunacy or none of it.  For me, the decision was easy. Continue reading