It’s that time again. Time to catch up on recent movie viewing. Think of it as your mini-guide to what’s hot and what’s not among recent films.

Annihilation

This is a muddled mess of pretense. Annihilation comes across as “smarter than you“, “deeper than you” and something “you couldn’t understand.” Sure, there were some times when I was impressed with the cleverness and found myself feeling smarter for watching it. Those moments were fleeting however. In retrospect, it feels like three stoners got wasted and wrote a script using free association.

RATING 5 out of 10

Death Wish

Bruce Willis owned the redux of the old Charles Bronson film. This modernized take on a vigilante tale was very good. The story was top notch and the action was spot on. It was good to see Willis back on the screen with a good script and direction. This one really show his chops as an actor and puts him in an action setting that fits him perfectly.

RATING 8 out of 10

Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit looked quite silly in the trailer but my mom wanted to go see it, so I jumped at the chance. You know what? It was actually a pretty good film. The music was fun throughout. The visuals blew me away. They did a great job of making the rabbits and other wildlife appear realistic while still anthropomorphized. Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson did great in the tough task of playing alongside all the animated cuteness.

RATING 8 out of 10

Red Sparrow

Red Sparrow is one of those movies that I just cannot say anything negative about in terms of film-making.  It was written well, acted exceptionally, directed masterfully and visually stunning. It was just too negative a story for me. Most of the time, there was just an overwhelming feel of dread. I prefer to walk out of a film happy, pumped up… just positive.

RATING 7 out of 10

Gringo

Gringo was surprisingly good.  David Oyelowo did a great job in the title role as did Nash Edgerton. The only real disappointment had to be Charlize Theron. Long-time readers will know she is one of my favorites. In this film however, I was not feeling it. It was the script. Every other word out of her mouth was an f-bomb. She is just not very pretty with all that coming out of her mouth. If you can look past the totally unnecessary language, this is a fun film.

RATING 8 out of 10

Ready Player One

The book Ready Player One was recommended to me a couple years ago and I just couldn’t get into it. In its defense, I don’t read much fiction. I wasn’t sure what to expect of the film because I only made it a chapter into the book. I was pleasantly surprised at the film. Yes, I get that a lot of folks loved the throwbacks to a whole series of pop culture, but that wasn’t what did it for me. I was impressed with the visuals. The racing scenes were just a blast. The virtual reality, massive fight scenes… you name it. This is a good time. I recommend the big screen for sure because there is just so much eye candy.

RATING 8 out of 10

Pacific Rim

I was really looking forward to this one because the first Pacific Rim was surprisingly good. This one was fun. Not as fun as the first one, but fun. The visuals are excellent and the action is non-stop.

RATING 7 out of 10

by Chris Doelle


Also published on Medium.