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Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)
The tide is turning.
Filmmaker(s): James Wan

Black Manta seeks revenge on Aquaman for his father's death. Wielding the Black Trident's power, he becomes a formidable foe. To defend Atlantis, Aquaman forges an alliance with his imprisoned brother. They must protect the kingdom.

A Lost Universe You will read from others the multiple weaknesses in this film from a genre that normally tolerates them. There are few new things you can do with these films, and instead of attempting some, they reverted, seeming to emulate the most popular elements...


Published April 27, 2024
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A Caribbean Mystery (1983)
Filmmaker(s): Robert Michael Lewis

Aging Major Palgrave, an idiosyncratic but charming mystery writer, reveals to Miss Jane Marple that one of the guests at a luxurious Caribbean resort they're staying at is a Bluebeard-type wife murderer. Unfortunately, the Major succumbs to an apparently accidental overdose of alcohol and blood pressure medication before revealing the killer's identity. When it's discovered that the medicine belonged to another guest and the revealing photograph the Major was carrying is missing, Miss Marple realizes that the serial killer has struck again and more murders will follow.

Glass Eye To my mind, Christie’s novels are inherently cinematic. Most of them have key events: a murder or clue, that are spatially constrained, which is an attractive hook for a filmmaker. Here there are three such setups. A man tells a story about a known murderer,...


Published April 22, 2024
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65 (2023)
65 million years ago, prehistoric Earth had a visitor.
Filmmaker(s): Scott Beck, Bryan Woods

65 million years ago, the only 2 survivors of a spaceship from Somaris that crash-landed on Earth, must fend off dinosaurs to reach the escape vessel in time before an imminent asteroid strike threatens to destroy the planet.

Kylo’s Curse Peril by the numbers. If this were not Adam Driver, it would be even less interesting. We have two people, clearly intended to be as like modern humans as the creaky backstory allows. A man who has lost his daughter, and a newly orphaned...


Published April 20, 2024
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Boxing Helena (1993)
Beyond love, beyond obsession, there hides something beyond reason.
Filmmaker(s): Jennifer Lynch

A top surgeon is besotted with a beautiful woman who once rebuffed him. Unable to come to terms with life without her, he tries to convince her that they need each other. She has other ideas, but a horrific accident leaves her at his mercy.

Children Oh what a problem adult children are. What do you do with children who become people? I’m thinking here are of children of friends who you admire and respect in some way, who are worth living and being with. Who enrich your life so you want...


Published April 20, 2024
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Murder in Paradise (1990)
Filmmaker(s): Fred Walton

A stressed-out, big-city cop seeks refuge in Hawaii, only to become embroiled in a serial murder case that appears to be identical to his last case in New York City.

Cheap Hotels If you study film, you study it all — at least for the elements I value. Sometimes these hack jobs that just don’t work, have all the structure of folding that the big boys use. It shows you that some conventions are just so...


Published April 20, 2024
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The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962)
Alive... without a body... fed by an unspeakable horror from hell!
Filmmaker(s): Joseph Green

Dr. Bill Cortner and his fiancée, Jan Compton, are driving to his lab when they get into a horrible car accident. Compton is decapitated. But Cortner is not fazed by this seemingly insurmountable hurdle. His expertise is in transplants, and he is excited to perform the first head transplant. Keeping Compton's head alive in his lab, Cortner plans the groundbreaking yet unorthodox surgery. First, however, he needs a body.

Brainy I’m a little annoyed at the folks that poke fun at this. Sure, all the production values are poor, but this is just a matter of degree. If perfected imagination is defined as the images you dream and you set that at 100, well maybe this...


Published April 20, 2024
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Wish Dragon (2021)
Three magical wishes. One life changing adventure.
Filmmaker(s): Chris Appelhans

Determined teen Din is longing to reconnect with his childhood best friend when he meets a wish-granting dragon who shows him the magic of possibilities.

Shallow Well This is not just reminiscent of ‘Aladdin’, it is a copy of hundreds of films that have come before, with no notable deviation or identity. It still has value. It is presented exceptionally well. I’ve become more accepting of repetition as I grow...


Published April 6, 2024
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Bottle Shock (2008)
Based on a true story of love, victory, and fermentation
Filmmaker(s): Randall Miller

Paris-based wine expert Steven Spurrier heads to California in search of cheap wine that he can use for a blind taste test in the French capital. Stumbling upon the Napa Valley, the stuck-up Englishman is shocked to discover a winery turning out top-notch chardonnay. Determined to make a name for himself, he sets about getting the booze back to Paris.

Jostled Beware of these sorts of things. Something happens that when it happens around you, it seems pretty interesting. When someone thinks “they should make a movie out of this” usually they are wrong. The supposedly interesting thing here is that a California wine won a French...


Published April 2, 2024
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The Beekeeper (2024)
Expose the corruption. Protect the hive.
Filmmaker(s): David Ayer

One man's campaign for vengeance takes on national stakes after he is revealed to be a former operative of a powerful and clandestine organization known as Beekeepers.

Unchoreographed Say what you will about the Wick movies, but at least the standard was on tradecraft. Wick’s movements through bad guys was designed within the scope of actual martial arts and arms training. I think that is the standard now for western fight scenes; it...


Published April 1, 2024
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The Switch (2010)
The most unexpected comedy ever conceived.
Filmmaker(s): Josh Gordon, Will Speck

Kassie is a smart, fun-loving single woman who, despite her neurotic best friend Wally’s objections, decides it’s time to have a baby – even if it means doing it herself… with a little help from a charming sperm donor. But, unbeknownst to her, Kassie’s plans go awry because of a last-minute switch that isn’t discovered until seven years later… when Wally gets acquainted with Kassie’s cute, though slightly neurotic, son.

Unseminal Pity the poor studio executive. The mainstay of the entire movie business is the romantic comedy. That is to say: the romance that does not challenge. Without this, the bottom falls out of the financial infrastructure because they are cheap and reliable. But more: the...


Published February 23, 2024
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