I’ve squeezed in a quite a few movies recently. First, as a test of the MoviePass system and then just when I have an extra couple hours when traveling to see clients/events etc. Rather than sit in a hotel room, I grab a film and then sit in a hotel room.

Long story short, there are quite a few movies I’ve seen but don’t really want to spend the time reviewing each separately. Here are some (11) of the latest I have seen and my takes:

Blade Runner 2049

There was some good nostalgia moments (when Harrison Ford showed up) but I wasn’t even a big fan of the first one so this one was a bit too much. Yes, the effects were cool. The fights were good. The sets and visuals were interesting. The problem was that it was just too long.  They could have told the story in about half the time and I would have walked away more impressed.

RATING 6 out of 10


This version of Stephen King‘s classic book certainly rocked the creepy factor. I thought this was much better than the first movie. It did a better job of telling the story from the book and the new Pennywise was much better. (Sorry Tim Curry.)

RATING 7 out of 10


I was totally duped by this film. I thought I was walking into Downsizing – another Matt Damon film that appeared to a be a cute film about shrinking people and an entire suburb down to save on resources. It was just before the movie started when they showed the preview for Downsizing that I realized my error. This was not a cute film. This was a bloody and dark film about murder in the suburbs. While watching, I was thinking “this seems like a bad copy of a Coen Brothers film.” When it was over and I saw it was indeed a Coen Brothers film, I still thought it felt like a bad copy. This was not a good film. This was Damon and George Clooney (director) trying to get some cred in the genre that fell short.

RATING 4 out of 10

American Made

Tom Cruise failed miserably in The Mummy – the last thing I saw him in. He turned things around in this one big time. Yes, they take some huge liberties with this “based on a true story” film – by putting the blame on Ronald Reagan and glossing over Bill Clinton setting up the whole thing in his home state. Politics aside, truth aside, American Made was a fun film. Okay, fun may not be the best descriptor – it was fun, tense, exciting, disgusting and had so many shake your head moments that it kept you interested from start to finish.

RATING 8 out of 10

The Mountain Between Us

I totally chose this because of Idris Elba. I really like him in Luther and figured it would be a role where he would have to act and not just show up in a costume (ala Hiemdall in Thor.) What I got was a really well-told story featuring good performances by him and Kate Winslet (who I also love.) Their acting took a basic story and made it not only interesting but downright enthralling at times. The amazing scenery was every bit as powerful as the acting. I really liked this one.

RATING 8 out of 10


I dropped by this one because I had time to kill between meetings and it was the only one that fit my schedule. In retrospect, I should have rewatched Thor: Ragnarok. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but Ragnarok was that much better. This one featured Gerald Butler and despite the fact he has chosen more and more lame films, he does a good job in most of them. This one had so many moments of suckage but they were interspersed with visually fun scenes just enough to keep you watching. Writer/Director Dean Devlin seemed to be cashing in on this one despite him not having made a good movie since the original Independence Day. Check your brain at the door and enjoy this disaster-rich special effects eye candy romp – complete with every space movie trope ever made (final countdown before averting disaster, cheering from the control center, etc. etc.)

RATING 5 out of 10

Atomic Blonde

This is one I saw when it was at the theater. I was invited to the movies and it has my girl, Charlize Theron so of course I had to check it out. The film itself is nothing special. It is a gritty story with violent action (but not too bloody.) It has clever moments and moments when you are thinking, “really? come on.” Charlize still managed to look amazing while being beaten to a pulp (and showing realistic bruising etc.) It was a fun film, but not one that you will want to play over and over again.

RATING 6 out of 10

Thank You For Your Service

Whoa. This movie will take a toll on you. It is realistic and deals with the very real issue of soldiers returning home to deal with the affects of war – PTSD, employment issues, adjusting to civilian life etc. Like I said, this is thick movie. If you are looking for a rah-rah, let’s scream as we blow things up film – this is not it. The lead – Miles Teller (who has been getting a ton of work recently – see my Only the Brave review) did a good job. If you are wanting to leave the theater feeling anything other than bummed out, skip it.

RATING 6 out of 10

Murder on the Orient Express

When I saw this one advertised, I thought it might be decent. I had never read the book nor had I seen the original movie. With this many stars, how could it lose? Well… it found a way. Yes, Kenneth Branagh did a great job as Hercule Poirot. Being that I never read any of Agatha Christie‘s work, I just assumed because of her popularity they were good books. If this is any indication, she is just a ripoff of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He did it better in the Sherlock Holmes books. The film too was okay, but there was nothing that would make you recommend it to a friend.

RATING 5 out of 10


Woody Harrelson channeled Lyndon Johnson in this story of his rise from Vice-President to President. It starts with the assassination of John F. Kennedy and does a great job of presenting the tensions between himself (a candidate added to the ticket to appease Southern voters) and the Kennedy clan. From all the reading I have done on LBJ – his character, his mannerisms – his apolitical no-bulls__t approach to dealing with people, Harrelson manages to capture Johnson to a T. While being a movie about politics, it manages to not push a political agenda in favor of telling a story. Good stuff.

RATING 8 out of 10

Roman J. Isreal. Esq.

This is another one I watched just because. It is a well-told story albeit a bit dark for my liking. It wasn’t dark as in evil, murder, death etc… just more of a downer film. Denzel Washington however is an actor that would make reading Wikipedia aloud interesting. (See what I did there updating the old “make reading the phone book interesting” line? It needed updating.) He did another outstanding job in this pretty pessimistic story.

RATING 6 out of 10