Coulda been Star Wars, but instead: Jaws 4

I intended to spend my Wednesday FINALLY finishing the Star Wars: A New Hope novelization so I could have that post ready today, May the Fourth. But then I learned my job’s going away next month, and even though I have really mixed feelings on this book, I love Star Wars as a franchise and didn’t want to associate with a day of bad news.

So instead, I went home and watched Jaws: The Revenge, which I’ve had out from Netflix since August of 2016. I’d apologize to the other would-be renters, but in all honesty, you’re probably few and most people would say I’ve done you a favor.

Continue reading

I blame Christian Slater; I really do.

When I was 12, I stumbled across the last 30 minutes or so of a movie on TV. I didn’t know what it was, or even really what it was about, I just knew that Christian Slater was skateboarding through windows, leaping out of cars to bypass a traffic jam and hanging on to the back of a sports car speeding down the highway to save a girl while his buddies followed in a Pizza Hut pickup driven by Tony Hawk.

gleaming the cubeThat movie turned out to be Gleaming the Cube, a 1989 film about Brian (Slater), a skateboarder who, while trying to find a reason for his brother Vinh’s death, learns Vinh (Art Chudabala) had uncovered a weapons smuggling ring being run out of a Vietnam aid organization.

And I loved every bit of it. There was a lot of good drama between Brian and his dad that’s my jam now and might go along way to explaining my love for family dynamics in fiction, but 12-year-old me was mostly all about the skateboarding.  The X Games premiered a year later, and that’s when I realized I’d fallen hard for the sport.

Continue reading

Let’s Talk (spoilers) About: Logan!

If you haven’t seen Logan yet, check out this spoiler-free review. But don’t read this. Because this is the post for talking about all the specific things we liked, the things we didn’t like, and — most importantly — the things that made us feel all the things.

In other words, spoilers EVERYWHERE.

logan laura
Laura (Dafne Keen) and Logan (Hugh Jackman) in “Logan.”

Continue reading

I really liked ‘Logan,’ but probably not for the reason you think

“Logan” earns its R rating.

It’s violent to a degree that isn’t just speeding down the highway of what viewers have come to expect from the franchise — it could have gotten off a few exits back and still been coarse enough to merit the rating that also allows for all the F-bombs it drops. It’s excessive to the point of being distracting in places, and the film itself has several moments that are nothing short of predictable.

And yet, for all of that and for all the effort that the paper-thin villains went through trying to manufacture mutants to be the perfect killing machines, there’s an undeniable humanity to “Logan” that goes far beyond anything I could have ever hoped for.

logan

Continue reading

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I saw “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” on Tuesday, and it took me two days to figure out how to write about it. Short version: I liked it, and I imagine when I see it again, I’ll love it. The first half of this post is a spoiler-free review in case there’s anybody else like me who had to keep pushing this back week after week, but the second half, which will have a big giant warning label before you get to it, goes into spoilers and behind the scenes stuff I’m dying to talk about but would have hated knowing going into the theater. I don’t get a lot of comments, but should this generate any, read them at your own risk.

Continue reading

2016 Media in Review: Movie Roundup

It’s 2017, and you know what that means: It’s time to take a look at what the movie gods of 2016 left for me. For my master list this year, I combined Movies at the Theater and Movies on DVD/Streaming, since my 2015 theater count was so low. But then I actually went to the theater a lot in 2016, and those are the movies I want to talk about.

So, consider this post a roundup of the new movies I saw. Don’t worry, we’ll get nerdy with numbers and old movies next.

2016 Sure Was Super (at the movies, anyway)

I usually see about four movies at the theater each year, but the offerings this time around were so plentiful that I nearly doubled that number. Last year brought me superheroes, the supernatural, aliens and magic — and while I was harsher on some of them than others, there wasn’t a single movie that I disliked. Good job, 2016! You did one thing right!

Continue reading