Gordon Elgart

The ultimate movie-by-committee goes for spectacular, but is less than amazing

Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) gives fatherly advice to young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Sometimes a movie has a story to tell, and sometimes it doesn’t. This movie doesn’t. It has a purpose, for sure. It has a goal in mind and it competently makes every effort to get there, and objectively, it does. Unfortunately, the goal was not to make a meaningful movie; it was simply to check all the boxes on what makes an “entertaining” one. This is a bland, corporate product that goes down easy, but is forgettable from beginning to end.

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           Edgar Wright on set directing Ansel Elgort in the marvelous new film Baby Driver.

Edgar Wright’s newest film, Baby Driver, is a labor of love, many years in the making. The film would be a typical action crime drama were it not made by Wright, who is anything but typical. Instead, we get a creatively inspired film that takes this oft repeated form and adds a magical twist, which is that nearly every scene, from a romantic conversation in a laundromat to a brisk foot chase with guns blazing, is not only accompanied by inspired musical choices, but is also choreographed to the songs. The result crackles with life and bristles with energy. We were overjoyed to be able to spend a few minutes discussing the music and choreography with director Edgar Wright and budding superstar Ansel Elgort.

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This movie goes for Big Dumb Fun, and is certainly big and dumb

             Sir Anthony Hopkins about to chew some scenery in Transformers: The Last Knight

A few years back, I wrote a “live blog” of Transformers 4: I Can’t Remember the Subtitle, the first in the Michael Bay x Hasbro series of films to star Mark Wahlberg. It was a pretty silly movie, but looked amazing in IMAX 3-D, as many scenes were shot natively with IMAX 3-D cameras. This time around, nearly every shot in the final film comes from IMAX 3-D cameras, so of course I had to head out to the theater to provide another Transformers live blog!

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Several different movies, crashing together; in other words, it’s a multi-car pile-up

                                    The Book of Henry is not a Wes Anderson movie.

What if veteran comic book writer Gregg Hurwitz wrote a superhero origin story about a single mom, combined it with a treacly family drama about a cancer-stricken kid, and crossed that with a darkly comedic satire about cinematic depictions of gifted children? Well, you don’t have to guess what if, because this movie is playing in movie theaters now, although I’m guessing not for long. It may, however, play forever in the rotation of classic film fiascos. 

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It’s a tale full of idiots, told with sound and fury, signifying nothing

There’s a scene in The Mummy, Universal Pictures’s latest movie with this much-used title, where zombie Knights Templar are swimming furiously at Tom Cruise. If this sounds like the kind of movie you would like, you might like this one. You would, however, not be me. This scene, like most of what occurs in this film, is utter nonsense.

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This movie shouldn’t exist. It shouldn’t work. It’s great.

                         Exciting jolts of visual flair abound in Danny Boyle’s new film.

 

There’s a type of movie that internet film nerds refer to as a “legacyquel”. This term applies to a sequel that is released many years after the original, in which the original actors play their original roles. When this idea fails, like the recent Independence Day movie, which brought back a dead character with a flimsy explanation, it can fail spectacularly, but when it succeeds, like Star Wars: The Force Awakens does, we can celebrate the return of our favorite characters in an entirely new story line. T2: Trainspotting is one of the latter instances.

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Picks Six: SXSW Acts Nobody Else Is Talking About

March 13, 2017
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-HP2sg0vaU

On most websites that preview SXSW, you’ll find the same list of the same bands worth checking out this year. You’ll be told to see San Fermin, Vagabon and Cherry Glazerr, for example. I won’t tell you not to see those acts. Those are good acts! My approach to SXSW is different from most. I […]

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Film Review: Doctor Strange

November 4, 2016
www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSzx-zryEgM

It takes an amazing cast to make goofy material work, and this movie has both.   Marvel movies have been around so long, they’ve transitioned from feeling like momentous events to being like episodes of a very expensively made television series. We see the same characters interacting with each other in different ways, with plot […]

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The Insiders’ Guide to the Treasure Island Music Festival (Updated for 2016)

October 10, 2016

This weekend’s Treasure Island Music Festival has quickly become my favorite musical event of the year. There are no conflicting set times, so you can see everyone on the bill. The size of the festival is fairly small, so it’s easy to get around. The setting in the middle of San Francisco Bay is absolutely […]

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Film Review: Kicks

September 9, 2016
www.youtube.com/watch?v=rci4qxqcooA

A promising start that never elevates to excellence during its running time.   Kicks starts off with Brandon, our lead character, introducing us to his wishes of being in space, where he no longer gets chased around the neighborhood and can live in perfect quiet. His dreams are accompanied by visions of a man (or woman) […]

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