Cinema Clash podcast: Incredibles 2; Tag; A Kid Like Jake; Hearts Beat Loud; The Misandrists

Cinema Clash podcast: Incredibles 2; Tag; A Kid Like Jake; Hearts Beat Loud; The Misandrists

Incredibles 2 scored big at the box office in its opening weekend, and rightly so. It was a great family film for Father’s Day, and it’s certainly the early front-runner for best animated movie of 2018.

Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The ‘Jurassic’ world as we know it is devolving — into a standard, formulaic and largely predictable monster movie franchise. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is still watchable, mainly thanks to the appeal of its returning star of the human variety, Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy). But it doesn’t have the combined charm, tension, terror and character development of 2015’s Jurassic World or the originality of the 1993 classic Jurassic Park. As sequels go, it’s definitely better than the completely forgettable Jurassic Parks 2 and 3. But those films set the bar pretty darn low. If it isn’t careful, the next Jurassic World – as yet untitled, but due in theaters in 2021 – could drive the franchise into extinction, or at least put it on the endangered species list.

Review: Tag

Tag pretty much delivers on what the trailer and the promos promise: an entertaining adult comedy action movie featuring a diverse group of guys who spend one month out of the year continuing a highly-competitive game of Tag they started as kids. The movie was inspired by a true story that was featured in the Wall Street Journal and on a segment of CBS Sunday Morning. The stakes and physical gamesmanship are exaggerated for comedic and dramatic effect in the film. But it’s comforting to know that facsimiles of these guys really do exist, and their primary motivation is admirable: it’s not so much about the game as it is about having a reason – and creating the opportunity – to stay in touch (literally and figuratively) no matter where life takes you.

Quickie Reviews: Hotel Artemis; American Animals

If Ocean’s 8 feels too safe a bet, and Hereditary looks too darn creepy, have no fear — you’ve got a couple of quirky alternatives to choose from in a crazy crowded weekend at the box office. Hotel Artemis stars Jodie Foster as “The Nurse”, the caretaker of a secret “members only” hotel/ER that caters to wounded criminals. The rules are simple and few: No guns. No cops. No killing the other patients. But on a single night in riot-torn Los Angeles 2028, rules are broken – and blood is shed.

Review: Hereditary

I saw a blurb before I went to Hereditary that said it was “the scariest movie since The Exorcist.” I think they must have seen a different film. Yes, there are disturbing scenes and the usual horror flick tropes all over the place, but I was never really scared and I didn’t take it out of the theater as I did with The Exorcist. Hereditary is from first time director Ari Aster who assembled a first rate cast including Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense), Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects), Alex Wolff (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), newcomer Milly Shapiro and character actress Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale, Aunt Lydia). He also has a very talented cinematographer who loves to show off his tricks of the trade. But the film felt like two stories. The first half is about grief and the second is the horror part. And at 2 hours and change, it takes way too long to get to the scary stuff.

Review: Ocean’s 8

As expected, Ocean’s 8 is Ocean’s Eleven – with women. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Ocean’s Eleven was a smart and entertaining heist flick with a strong ensemble cast. Ocean’s 8 is too, though we have seen it all before. It doesn’t quite measure up to the 2001 Clooney classic, which was a remake of a 1960 Sinatra classic. But it’s a fun escape with a talented, diverse group of ladies (skewing a bit younger than the recent all-star female cast in Book Club).

Review: Adrift

Adrift (not to be confused with the 2006 horror drama Open Water 2: Adrift) is a meet-cute swept into a Perfect Storm. It’s based on the true story of Tami Oldham (Shailene Woodley) and Richard Sharp (Sam Claflin), a couple of young adventure-seekers who encountered a catastrophic hurricane while sailing a 44-foot yacht from Tahiti to San Diego in 1983. The couple was left stranded – injured and adrift – in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. For 41 days.

Review: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Even as a kid, I knew there was something inherently comfortable and calming about Mr. Rogers. I remember sitting in front of the television watching him put on his cardigan and tennis shoes and singing “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.” I vaguely recall his puppets and sidekicks and forays into the land of make-believe. Do I remember specific episodes and messages? Not really (I was, after all, quite young). But this documentary explains and validates why the man – and his show – were truly special, and why there are lessons still to be learned today from the classic program and the man who created it.

Review: Bye Bye Germany (Es war einmal in Deutschland)

This “based on a true story” movie takes place in 1946, in a displaced persons camp, where those who survived the Nazi death camps are being held until they can get themselves to America. But they need money to do that. Enter David Bermann (Moritz Bleibtreu), a man with a plan. His family had a linen shop before the war, and he recruits a group of salesmen to sell high-end linens to the gullible Germans surrounding them. But while the biz goes well, he’s also being interrogated by an American Army Investigator (Antje Traue) who suspects that he collaborated with the Nazis. The film is by turns funny and sad and sweet and horrifying. And well worth seeing.

Review: RBG

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg aka The Notorious RBG is a fabulous role model for the masses. At 85 and with 15 years on the highest bench in the land, it’s time that her story be told. She may be tiny, but she is formidable! This wonderful documentary is based on the autobiography she read in her own confirmation hearing, the story of her professional ascent to the Supreme Court along side the truly touching love story of her life with fellow Harvard Law grad Marty Ginsburg. It’s a must see film!