Unlike the last film, The Last Jedi uses nostalgia and one’s knowledge of this universe against the viewer, ideas as to what can happen, who can and cannot survive and where things go from here as they head into the ninth and final chapter blown into smithereens like a fourth Death Star.
Thor: Ragnarok proves to be so creatively loopy, not to mention so consistently hysterical, I found it hopeless not to enjoy myself while sitting in the theatre watching things play themselves out to their conclusion. Waititi delivers the goods, and for fans of the MCU his arrival ends up being a breath of fresh air worth getting excited about.
As ludicrous and as unfocused as it all might be, Kong: Skull Island kept me amused for practically every second of its two-hour running time. While not a great movie, it’s still an awfully fun one, and as big budget, visually resplendent monster mashes go I’m somewhat eager to give it another look relatively soon.
With Rogue One, Edwards doesn’t attempt to redo what has come before, isn’t interested in any already established template. He and his team have crafted a film that exists inside a known universe yet still manage to plant their own idiosyncratic stamp upon it. This is a marvelous piece of entertainment, as wondrous as anything I’ve seen in 2016.
I almost can’t wait to see this master of the mystic arts return for another adventure, and not just alongside the Avengers, Doctor Stephen Strange a mysteriously fascinating firebrand of courage and curiosity deserving of future solo outings into the unknown sooner rather than later.
Not only is Kubo and the Two Strings an original tale, it is one that is both culturally sensitive to its Japanese origins as well as universally accessible to viewers the world over. It is a movie that works beginning to end, practically every piece one worthy of cherishing as events work their way towards their heroic conclusion.
What is learned, who is who and what is what, all of it matters, not just so much in regards to the greater picture as far as the new trilogy is concerned but also as it pertains to the narrative here. The filmmakers maintain remarkable focus, a singularity of purpose, doing yeoman’s work fleshing out Rey and Finn while also giving Solo an astonishing arc no fan of the series will ever be able to forget.
And it’s beautiful. Beautiful because the Wachowski’s are reaching for the skies. Beautiful because the brother-sister directorial tandem doesn’t know when to quit and don’t have a clue as to how to keep their voluminous ambitions in check. Beautiful because the parts are so gorgeous and spellbinding I not-really-all-that-embarrassingly loved them more than I did what it was they ultimately added up to in the end.
The Boxtrolls is a divine, intoxicating fantasy, and in the end is a first-rate marvel of originality and inspiration.