Tripping Through Gateways

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The Mission Impossible franchise is kind of…well, a weird one. I thought the first one was okay…but the second film was a mess. J.J. Abrams streamlined things a bit and made an improvement with the third film.  Brad Bird and Christopher McQuarrie directed the fourth and fifth installments…and these turned out to be the most entertaining films of the franchise.  With the sixth film, Fallout, McQuarrie is the first director to return… Read More

Peter Berg’s Patriots day is one of those films where going in, it may feel a bit like a “Rah Rah America!” exercise in propaganda.  And while, to a certain extent, it may very well be, it is also one of Berg’s better efforts. Patriots Day is the story of the Boston Marathon bombing and the manhunt that ensued for the Tsarnaev brothers.  The film is most effective in how it is not… Read More

There is a lot about Playing Cool that makes me want to like it.  The cast (both lead and supporting) is comprised almost entirely of actors I like a lot.  The film has some nice ideas it is playing with.  It has some clever visual moments. But the pacing and the storytelling?  That is where it falls flat.  And it keeps it from being a movie I truly enjoyed. That it is… Read More

Pixels is a mash of Ghostbusters and Adam Sandler’s Nostalgia machine with a lot of likeable actors supporting Sandler and James based on a clever 2:34 minute short film by Patrick Jean from 2010. The short explanation of the film is that in 1982 the U.S. government sent out a tie capsule into space, aliens with VCR technology thought we were declaring war and attack us with video games from 1982 (or… Read More