Ryan Gosling and Sylvia Hoeks walk past displays of replicants in Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049: Nary a Navel Left Ungazed

Twenty-five years after the iconic Blade Runner hit theaters, director Denis Villeneuve brings his vision of the dystopian future to life in Blade Runner 2049. Fortunately, Blade Runner 2049 is a clear sequel, so we are spared another tiresome reboot/remake. Unfortunately, like most sequels, it’s far inferior to the original.

Blade Runner was a masterfully made noir that raised existential questions about what it means to be human. Blade Runner 2049 is the tedious, self-indulgent film you’d expect to get if a bunch of self-absorbed college theater majors were suddenly handed a huge budget. It tries way too hard to be profound, and takes way too long to do it. Continue reading

Jackie Chan Takes a Crack at Dramatic Acting in The Foreigner

Jackie Chan is well known for comedy martial arts movies and ridiculous, over the top action sequences. In The Foreigner, he tries to put all that behind him and get serious. It doesn’t turn out well.

Jackie Chan and Katie Leung in The ForeignerQuan Ngoc Minh (Chan) is a dangerously hypercompetent ex-military guy who is lovingly devoted to his daughter Fan (Katie Leung). Unfortunately for Quan, Fan is not taken or kidnapped at the start of the film, she’s blown up. Convinced that high-ranking Irish minister Liam Hennessy (Pierce Brosnan) knows who the bombers are, Quan relentlessly hounds Hennessy with steadily escalating violence and destruction to get him to give up the names. Continue reading

Flatliners Should Have Had a Do Not Resuscitate Order

Continuing the trend of endless remakes nobody asked for, director Niels Arden Oplev takes a crack at resurrecting a crappy 27-year-old Kiefer Sutherland vehicle. At least it’s not a beloved film getting the cheap makeover this time. One would think that, at the very least, this new version of Flatliners can’t be any worse than the original. One would be wrong.

No Ugly People

Courtney (Ellen Page) is a medical student at The Top-Rated Medical School That Does Not Admit Ugly People. Obsessed with the after-life after carelessly causing her sister’s death nine years earlier, she comes up with the plan of stopping her heart for a couple minutes to force a near-death experience. She has surprisingly little difficulty recruiting fellow students to this dangerous and ethically indefensible project. Continue reading

The Tick – Season 0.5 Review

After a year-long wait, the first half-season of The Tick was finally released on Amazon. We got 6 episodes, but that included the original pilot, so, really, we only got 5 new episodes. And as a Tick fan, I was bitterly disappointed.

The show did get a couple things right. Peter Serafinowicz nails the Tick. His speech patterns, voice, and mannerisms are spot on. If you’re a fan of the animated series from the 1990s, Serafinowicz is a perfect live action version of the titular hero. The second major protagonist of the series, Arthur (Griffin Newman), doesn’t come off nearly as well, but more about him in a moment. Arthur’s sister, Dot (Valorie Curry), mentioned but not often seen in the animated series, plays a much bigger role in this incarnation, and that is arguably the only other good thing about the show. Dot is an active and ongoing participant in the action and in Arthur’s life, with some interesting subplots of her own. Expanding her role was a major plus.

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The Tick coming soon

The Tick Season 1 on Amazon Prime Video August 25

Last year, Amazon’s original pilot gave us our first look at a new, live action incarnation of The Tick. (See my review here.) Since then, Tick fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of the first season. Well, the wait will soon be over. The Tick, Season 1 will be available on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, August 25.

Will it live up to hopes and expectations? We’ll all find out very soon.

Check it out on Amazon Video.