REVIEW GRAB-BAG: The Dark Tower, Logan Lucky, & The Hitman’s Bodyguard

The Dark Tower

2 Stars (2 / 5)
Or How to Make Soup out of Stephen King’s Keystone Series.

In brief: Take an epic eight-book series inspired by both Lord of the Rings and Spaghetti Westerns,1 strip away the character and the uniqueness, boil down the mythology and the plot, and reduce to 95 minutes.…

Silence brings Scorsese’s obsession with theology & suffering near miraculously to the surface

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
What is the worst thing you could do to yourself, and under what circumstance might such a thing be not only permitted but necessary?

This, in general terms, is the central question of Silence, a long-term passion project by Martin Scorsese and the latest of his works to tackle with the burden of religious conviction.…

Paterson is a miracle in the clarity and beauty of everyday life

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Films do not have to be dark in order to be profound. Sometimes the human condition can, in fact, be hopeful.

No better is this demonstrated than in Paterson, Jim Jarmusch’s heartfelt ode to blue-collar life in all its ordinary extraordinariness.…

Midnight Special lays its light on us

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

The fourth film of 37-year-old Arkansan director Jeff Nichols, Midnight Special feels like a narrative made to fit its title.

Named for an old folk standard, it follows Roy (Michael Shannon), and his son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), a goggle-wearing preteen gifted with supernatural abilities.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens recaptures much of the old magic, but leaves it to future installments to take the risks.

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

 A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”

After the prequels more or less managed to strip the gloss off the franchise1, it seems apt that the opening lines of Star Wars: The Force Awakens refer to a sort of redemption.2

This long-awaited, almost mythical follow-up to the Holy Trilogy3 has the added advantage/burden of returning to the three characters we actually care about; namely Luke4, Han, and Leia.