Sunday, April 15, 2018


Director Brad Peyton’s Rampage is an enjoyable “popcorn” monster movie for those who have enjoyed the Jurassic Park adventures.

Dwayne Johnson makes a pleasant hero and Naomie Harris is an excellent match to his bravado.  Malin Akerman is, also, excellent, acting against type, as the evil nemesis.

Here, genetic engineering goes awry in space and sends pathogens to Earth that infect a gorilla, a wolf and a reptile.  These start growing and wrecking the planet, especially poor Chicago.

The monsters are great and the action is also exciting.

I give Rampage a 3.9 out of 5.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Quiet Place

Writer/Director/Actor John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place is an admirable effort to create a scary horror story. 
His actors, including his wife Emily Blunt, as well as Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe and Cade Woodward are all excellent and his Cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen has created images that are fittingly creepy.

The problem is the story and I don’t thing Co-Writers Bryan Woods and Scott Beck have served Krasinski well.

The key to great horror is to have the audience totally invested in the characters so that their suspension of disbelief is fully activated and they become bonded to the characters’ fate.

Here, in the 26th month of the monsters activities on Earth…monsters that are so attuned to sound and so speedy, they pounce on anyone who makes noise…, the bonehead mistakes the characters make over the 3 days of the film’s story are so dumb, there is no way they could have survived so long.  The characters’ stupidity, therefore, releases the audience from completely bonding with them and getting really frightened.   

Instead, we become dispassionate viewers as opposed to being invested in the characters’ fates.

It’s also rather unbelievable that it’s taken so long to figure out how to kill off the monsters.

So, if you’re not a big horror fan, this film may be your cup of tea. It's not that scary.

Still, I give A Quiet Place a 3.5 out of 5.  

Monday, April 2, 2018

Ready Player One

Director Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One is designed to appeal to video game players with a reference-filled story that will often leave non-gamers wondering what’s going on. 

But, fear not.  If you just accept it is an adventure with a minorly interesting cast of heroes pitted against a totally uninteresting nemesis, it has its moments of thrills…mostly from the occasional spontaneous outbursts of audience members who understand one of the references.

I give Ready Player One a 3 out of 5 for its visuals.