Tag Archive: films

Star Trek: The Search For Spock (aka the Search for a Good Movie)

On the surface, it may seem like a bad idea to devote a feature-length film to a slightly convoluted, comic booky story about bringing a popular character back from the dead, but the truth is … Who am I kidding? It IS a bad idea. The stakes have gotten more personal with each consecutive Star Trek movie, first with a threat that could destroy Earth and potentially endanger the entire galaxy, then a tale of personal revenge that also includes a device that could destroy a planet, and finally this story about a man’s sacrifice for a dear friend. That shouldn’t be a bad thing. People love Star Trek for the characters, after all, so a movie exploring the more intimate side of this crew’s…
Read more

Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan is ridiculously awesome

If Star Trek: The Motion Picture is universally considered a misguided misstep for the beloved franchise, The Wrath of Khan is the opposite, a universally beloved movie that almost every Trek fan considers the best. That feeling extends outside of Trek fandom, too. Even non-Trek fans concede that The Wrath of Khan is not just good Trek, it’s just plain good, a movie that transcends its franchise and is simply one of the best of the sci-fi genre. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ranked list of these movies that didn’t place it on top. Sure, there are some bullshit measurements that don’t make a ton of sense. IMDB has Star Trek Into Darkness rated higher than Khan, which is so absurdly…
Read more

FILM FLASHBACK: Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Lady Vanishes” (1938)

This review first appeared on the web more than 10 years ago on DVDinmyPants.com. The site is gone, but I’m pulling this from the archives for your enjoyment. Dig it: When it comes to Alfred Hitchcock’s earliest work, it would be difficult to find a title more worthy of the Criterion Collection treatment than The Lady Vanishes. Hitch’s spy thriller The 39 Steps certainly deserves its place among the collection, and this reviewer believes The Lodger is in dire need of restoration, commentary and otherwise deluxe treatment … but I am an unabashed fan of The Lady Vanishes, the last good film Hitchcock would make as a British director, and hence I am glad it received Criterion’s loving treatment. In The Lady Vanishes, Hitch brings…
Read more

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies extended edition is even more disappointing than you imagine

Rather than providing the rich, more deliberately paced, character moment-filled version of the movie that Peter Jackson’s extended cuts usually provide, The Battle of the Five Armies is even more jam-packed with mindless battles and stupid sights gags. And let me tell you, that kind of sucks. I’ve perhaps been more forgiving of the Hobbit movies than they deserve. I don’t pretend they are great cinema, and readily acknowledge they are deeply flawed to the point of often being downright awful. Still, I love aspects of PJ’s cinematic Middle Earth enough so that I let their flaws slide and instead focus on the parts that I like, considering them a lesser but still accepted part of my beloved Lord of the Rings movie family. Much…
Read more

Why I think Jurassic World stunk (and you should, too)

It was kind of hard to escape Jurassic World this summer. The fourth movie in the Jurassic Park series (though it conveniently ignored the first two sequels), it was a HUGE smash hit, raking in $1.6 billion worldwide and jumping to the #3 spot for all time box office. Even adjusted for inflation, it sits at #23 for all time box office. Not too shabby. What was shabby was this film. And I’m going to tell you why. On paper, I should have fallen head over heels for it. I LOVE dinosaurs. I LOVE dinosaur movies. I LOVE the Jurassic Park series, both books and movies, even the subpar installments like Jurassic Park 3. Big creatures destroying stuff? Loads of spectacle? A non-stop adventure filled…
Read more