Steve Buja

Movies, alcohol, reviews. Occasionally baby pictures and other life things. Drink til the movie's good!

“Now, your honor, is this the face of a baby who would knowingly burn a house down?” Yes. Yes it is.
First Birthday Party, or ‘Talia Discovers New Things to Smash Into Her Face’ I think lasagna will be the new leave in hair gel, just you wait. #baby #birthday #birthdayparty
Baby is celebrating her birthday all weekend long. Sheesh, turning one and she thinks she’s all Brooklyn up in here.
Phantom Thread (2017) Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson 2 Shots —— For as long as there has been art, there has been art about the artist and (usually) his (female) muse. Enter Phantom Thread, the latest from master filmmaker #paulthomasanderson . In what is his final role, Daniel Day Lewis once again disappears, this time into Reynolds Woodcock, a dressmaker in 1950s London. The film is a sumptuous, well costumed affair, a beauty that - like the little messages Woodcock puts in his couture - hides the ugly truths of his life. While little happens in the film, it remains engaging from beginning to end. After callously discarding one muse, Woodcock soon finds another in Alma (Vicky Krieps), a quiet woman who is initially outmatched by Reynolds’ explosive passion. The joy of Phantom Thread is the push-pull power dynamic between the two; the passive aggressive bullshit we do to each other in real life, made exquisite by bravura acting. Many actors can read the phone book; Day Lewis orders breakfast like none other. Anderson lingers on faces, and is far more concerned with the things we do not say. The screenplay is a simmering stew of undeclared frustrations that boils over in the most delicious and, might I say, unexpected way. A terrifying performance from Lesley Manville as Reynolds’ sister Cyril, his ‘old so and so’ has echoes of Mrs. Danvers from Rebecca (1940). One is never sure where the movie is headed; character portraits like this can be winding roads, but it is doubtful you’ll see this exit coming. Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood provides a low key, omnipresent score and earns himself an Oscar nom! Most artist/muse dramas have the muse giving up everything. Alma admits to as much, where Phantom Thread shines is showing and reveling in Alma reclaiming hers. In a year of great women on film, Alma may be among the best. And to do so next to greatest living actor Daniel Day Lewis? Now that is something special. Phantom Thread is the kind of movie that afterward, you want to one) go and hug your spouse and two) buy some new clothes, because this film will hit you on the surface and a bit deeper, as well. @oscarwatchpod @movie_mattinee
It Comes At Night (2017) Dir: Trey Edward Shults 2 Shots ———— The brilliance in the telling of It Comes At Night is how little it tells. You will have questions, but do not expect answers. There is something wrong with the world, the particulars are irrelevant. It’s bad and it is contagious. We’ve had enough eschatological films that all the beats are the same, regardless of ‘why’. It Comes At Night dispenses with mythology to focus on the true monsters: ourselves. How easily we lose our humanity when forced to the edge. A family lives deep in the woods in nowhere (but everywhere) and they survive. They lose one at the beginning and things, as they do, escalate from there. The family is led by Paul, a fabulous Joel Edgerton, who keeps peace and order; he’s not the bad guy, but he will be if needed. Unfortunately, good and bad mean little in a world where an infected person can infect others; only survival means a damn. The film is haunting, opting for slow takes through dimly lit rooms or worse, darkest outdoors and the tension becomes thick as ichor. Oursiders arrive and it is only a matter of time before the bough breaks. Those hoping for a scary good time should turn back; this is as unsettling a film as 2016’s The Witch, choosing dread and that lurking ‘it’ that lies beneath this thin veneer of civilization over more traditional tropes. The horror comes in the not knowing; is he infected? Who left the door open? Rare do we have the answers in a given situation, after all. Helping out is a chilling score by Briam McComber compiled with undertones of dread that accentuate - though surprisingly - never fill the silence. It Comes At Night can be a frustrating film and I understand the criticisms against it, but I think it’s a fantastic, stripped down version of a horror film, devoid of the plot machinations and focussing solely on the characters. The unknown horror lurking in the outside is terrifying; it is not half as terrifying as the one lurking within all of us. @movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod
Get Out Dir: Jordan Peele 1 Shot ———- (Note: sorry this took so long) The choice of what to put in a film determines the power of the film. On its surface, with other choices, Get Out is an above average horror film with recognizable themes and some truly harrowing moments. Get Jordan Peele, cast the brilliant Daniel Kaluuya and what was once a mostly unoriginal tale of the powerful feasting on the unpowerful becomes a commentary on the racial politics of today’s America. The Empire never ended. Rare does subtext come through in horror, and Get Out isn’t even trying for it. This is all context. Race. Power. Slavery. The destruction of black minds and bodies. The hypocritical liberal. All of it is here, a movie for America to reckon with. In my privilege, I didn’t want to see this because I didn’t want to reckon. Glad I did. The film is not an in your face polemic, prone to becoming a glorified News Feed of outrage; it is a thoroughly well done horror film that gets inside you and forces you to think. Kaluuya is great as the unwitting mark in a fucked up morality play in an already scary place: rich ass white people’s house. Inhabited by the Armitage clan of Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Caleb Landry Jones and Allison Williams, we ask: is there something actually wrong, or is it just the way black and white interact? The answer: yes. Peele draws the tension out like a master (it’s his film debut) and when it finally boils over, it’s something else. The violence is brutal and smart and terrifying in its implications. Most horror films go for the surface, the visceral, Get Out savors the suspense and by doing so, gives one time to ponder, to consider the larger implications. Which makes the gore all that much sweeter...until we realize that maybe, probably, that’s the only thing that will actually help. Get Out, yes. But where to? @movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod
Brawl In Cell Block 99 Dir: S. Craig Zahler 3 Shots ——— I had hopeful expectations for the under-the-radar B-movie Brawl In Cell Block 99. Casted against type, I had heard good things about Vince Vaughn and what a commanding presence he is. I can safely say that he makes the film; he’s a great anti-hero, a principled yet ruthless man thrust into an ever escalati g series of events. What should have been a tight 90 minute actioner instead runs over by about 45 minutes. It is a simmer that occasionally boils and even its scenes of brutal, bone-breaking, face-smashing violence cannot buoy the glacial pacing that pushes the story forward. Writer/director Zahler creates a fascinating world with fascinating characters...all of which would work better in a novel. The film is practically laid out in chapters, starting with Bradley - never Brad - losing his job to the (very much not an actual) titular Brawl. In between are some delicious, grounding moments - such as one officer’s plea to get Bradley into the prison boxing program - to Don fucking Johnson chewing the scenery almost as much as he chews his cigars. There are a lot of little sidestories and character bits that the film ges lost in. Enjoyable, all. Let’s move this thing along, shall we? The fights, what few there are in the film, are vicious and brutally real. Bones are broken and bodies become sacks of meat. These are highlights, Zahler has a gift for staging. The choreography paces the scene, not the camera - which is still - nor the editing, which favors long takes so we feel the actors, including a jacked Vaughn, throwing every punch. Those expecting an all out melee like in The Raid films will be sorely disappointed, however. More like ‘Fisticuffs In Cell Block 99’. Maybe its me. My time is precious these days. Brawl In Cell Block 99 wastes much of it; worse, it did not have to. There’s a solid film in here, featuring a great central performance, all wrapped in too much that whatever thrust it possesses is exhausted over and over. A little pep, zest and life could go a long way in dealing with all this death. @movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod
A Ghost Story (2017) Dir: David Lowery 1 SHOT ——— Ghosts are as old as human imagination. Since the first man died, the second has been haunted. Not in the typical haunting of a James Wan horror movie, but of memory. It is a tangible thing, even if the ghost itself is not. Last year’s A Ghost Story takes the position that ghosts are a tangible thing, just outside perception, outside of time itself and that, like those they leave behind in life, they too are haunted. Nearly silent but for a brief esoteric meditation on time and existence, A Ghost Story follows the C (Casey Affleck) from his life alongside M (Rooney Mara), death and post-life existence. He is not icy blue or transparent; he is simply a child’s costume, a sheet with two holes for eyes. Yet, he is still emotive and, alongside brilliant staging, more real than most characters on the big screen. He looms, lingers and occasionally manipulates. The rules are never explained, though it seems he is locked into a certain place - his home with M. He is searching for something, apparently a thing to send him onward. He comes so close and his hopes are dashed, and it is the most heartbreaking moment in 2017 cinema. Mostly, he exists, occasionally flashing back to his life and all the mistakes he made, the words that were never said. David Lowery uses long takes, juxtapositions to denote existence and utilizes some excellent CGI to denote the passage of time. Special shoutout to Daniel Hart, who composed the haunting and ethereal score, a soundtrack that elevates A Ghost Story to something...endless, something cosmic. An eternal recursion. A flat circle, of sorts. Slow, meditative and absolutely raw, A Ghost Story is among the year’s best, most original films. We are small things in a vast ocean and what do we leave behind besides ghosts? So much more, and how beautiful and devastating and full and lonely this life - and afterlife - can be. Sometimes, you just have to wait. And wait. And wait. @movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod
The Post Dir: Steven Spielberg 2 SHOTS ——— With a pedigree like this, it is easy to walk into the film you think you’re going to see, as opposed to the one that is on display. The Post features one of the most impressive casts in memory (anchored by Streep and Hanks), comes from the writer of previous Best Picture winner’Spotlight’, is based on a true story of VERY RELEVANT ISSUES and is directed by the legend himself, #stevenspielberg . Yet. The film is a tremendous slow burn, filled with excellent, Altman-esque back and forths that somehow never crests higher. It broils and simmers, but never boils. Much like Spotlight, Spielberg is reverential to the press; unlike Spotlight, there’s no big emotional anchor like Mark Ruffalo. The drama is to be found in the fact that this is an important story. Pay the appropriate respect! Even Streep, who in addition to handling freedom of the press is also grappling with unseen misogyny, never rises above. She is wonderful - of course she is. She is distant, kept at arm’s length from the audience as if being any closer would destroy the sanctity of journalism. Hanks does his twilight gruff and affable professional as only he can. Spielberg commands the multiple threads and characters with his typical aplomb; Kaminski provides camerawork and Kahn does the editing. The result is a proficient and efficient film, so competent and forceful that it screams ‘look at me! Important stuff happening here!’; a solid exterior with a cool heart. More a docudrama than a rousing defense of the Fourth Estate. And there is nothing wrong with that! Watching the masters work is a treasure we can all appreciate. In a film class. Also, Spielberg: please stop ruining excellent ‘characters walking away’ final shots in your films. @oscarwatchpod @movie_mattinee
The Shape of Water Dir: Guillermo del Toro 2 SHOTS ——— At its core, film is a visual medium. Sound came second. The ability to tell a story without words is the sign of a master. Enter the legendary @realgdt and his latest, The Shape of Water, a love letter to shlocky 50s monster movies and the Golden Age of Cinema, before sound muddied up the waters. No, this is not The Artist (thankfully) but something much more poetic: it’s love, and love needs no words. Well, the occasional ‘egg’ and ‘music’ help. There’s something for everyone: romance, sci-fi, humor and what makes it all work is the powerful performance from #sallyhawkins who says so much without saying much of anything. She is a mute woman, an outcast, who falls for a fish creature (the glory that is #dougjones ), as much an outcast as anything ever was. Hawkins has help from the dependable Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer and the callousness that is Michael Shannon. Del Toro reins in his worst instincts and gives his supporting cast motivations and arcs to follow, not simply be window dressing. The focus is ever on the people caught in this 1960s espionage world and del Toro brings his supernatural touch to the proceedings, crafting a modern fairy tale that will ripple through time like drops in water. The film can be seen as an allegory not simply in the power of compassion, but of 2017 as a whole. In it, a mute, a gay man, a black woman and a fish-man conspire, rebel and resist the system, as represented by the xenophobic, misogynistic suit of Michael Shannon. With a more satisfying ending to his character than the (equally brilliant) nuance of Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards. But that is me grumping; The Shape of Water is a magical, near-timeless motion picture experience that reinforces the idea that we are not as different as we seem and that we are stronger together than we are alone. @movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod
The Greatest Showman Dir: Michael Gracey 2 SHOTS ——- Like P.T. Barnum’s act in the movie, The Greatest Showman will go undernoticed, unloved and unfavorably compared to its more prestigious, hoity-toity bretheren (like La La Land) - despite coming from the same musicians who brought us last year’s big hit. A shame, because no film this year has left me more invigorated and with a broader smile than The Greatest Showman! What the story of P.T. Barnum’s rise to fame lacks in originality; it is thoroughly predictable, it makes up for in impressive style, wonderful performances and a song catalogue that is every bit superior to La La Land. (Yeah, I said it!) Hugh Jackman hangs up the claws and returns to his true love and brings Barnum and his merry band of misfits to bold and brilliant life. It is amazing what a musical can look like with actors who actually can sing and dance! Zac Efron charms in a way not seen since High School Musical and Michelle Williams is radiant. The music rarely stops, only ever slowing down to move us into the next story beat. What you are left with is an inspiring tale of acceptance and hope, of ambition and love that is sure to strike a chord with anyone who has dared greatly. The undercurrent of classicism, and the conservative views of the gatekeepers to art and entertainment is present but most everything takes a backseat to the powerful numbers. The opening song hooks you, while a tricky duet between Jackman and Efron reels you in until the whole troupe, fed up with the looks the high and mighty give them burst out into a grand ‘fuck you’ anthem that could be the rallying cry of the 2017 Resistance. Not since Moulin Rouge nearly twenty years ago has there been such energy in a mainstream musical! Look, I love Hugh Jackman as Wolverine as much as anyone. Seeing him in his element, vibrant, elastic - smiling! - while spinning across the screen and belting out a hopeful tune, I love it more. There’s joy in every frame of The Greatest Showmsn, and one day I think we’ll all appreciate it more. For now, it’ll just have to be a grand secret between you and me. So tell me, do you wanna go? @movie_mattinee
Ladybird Dir: Greta Gerwig 1 Shot —————- Stories are about change. Which is why stories about high school, the teenage years, resonate more than others. Puberty is a universal trait. We’ve all been there. It always sucks, and we get through it. Messily, usually. Greta Gerwig’s debut film #ladybird is a tribute to the mess we make on our way to becoming who we are. It is a funny and sad and hearfelt and snarky look at a teenager, a broad strokes view of her final year of high school. @gerwiggreta ‘s script and editing sing; she has the pacing skills of Edgar Wright, fast, relentless and it never drags, instead choosing to pop in at various moments of discovery or questioning. All of which is spearheaded by a stellar performance from #saiorseronan who captures the emotional turbulence of youth. And, like my other favorite female character of the year (Gloria from Colossal), Lady Bird screws it up. A lot, actually. But she’s allowed to, because that’s how you grow. Lady Bird would be nothing without the formidable Laurie Metcalf who, playing Mom, reaches into the primordial and pulls out what has to be the defining portrait of motherhood: exasperation and love, in equal measure. She doesn’t always have to like you; but she will always love you. Timothee Chalamet proves that he is absolutely a guy who spells his name Timothee as Kyle, the must frustratingly accurate portrayal of 2000s era dude ever. I hate him because I was him! Lady Bird is a tremendous debut. It’ll have you cracking a smile, laughing out loud, yelling at the screen and rolling your eyes. There is someone on screen for everyone. We’ve all been there, at least briefly. Maybe we can only appreciate how high school and our parents shaped us after we’ve left. Maybe that’s the best and worst lesson. What should we call that? Oh, I know: Life.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Dir: Rian Johnson 1 SHOT ———— Two years ago, #theforceawakens reintroduced us to intergalactic humans who became legends. As if keeping with the times of 2017, #thelastjedi tells us that those same legends are demonstrably, irrepressibly human. Director #rianjohnson lights a fire in that galaxy far, far away and relishes, like one of its characters, in watching it all burn. #starwars has always been about revolution. Finally, the series itself lives up to its premise. From the moment Rey and Luke connect, toss away your expectations. This Star Wars has purpose. Yes, there are still breathless battles, intense duels and thrills aplenty, but it is pound for pound the most character focused of the series. Poe Dameron has an arc! Poe! Everyone gets something to do, even if the middle drags on like an aimless side-quest. When this hits, oh my, it hits with the doorbusting force of a mini Death Star. Hamill puts in career best work, and Fisher is a gem that shall be missed. How much their heroes have changed. But Johnson keeps all the drive on our new crew, and I love how he handles Kylo. Driver absolutely nails the anger, hurt and ferocity underneath the man. Oh, to be a kid seeing these films! To have these be the heroes and villains we dress up as. Johnson did something great: he made Star Wars NEW. Impressive. Most impressive. The elders stole the show in 2015, with Awakens. In 2017, the new heroes of Jedi have dispatched with the old ways and are done with the old heroes. Come 2018, the reckoning comes. Yes, there are the whiny, irredeemable Kylo Rend of the world; but the Reys have it. Where Kylo burns to destroy the things he hates, Rey and co will save the things they love. And no Force, however strong, will defeat that. @movie_mattinee
Coco (2017) Dir: Lee Unkrich 1 SHOT ——— The latest from Pixar will be long remembered - and awarded - for its dazzling style. There are moments that will take your breath away at the scope and majesty of them. It is one of the most beautiful animated films in years. What I will remember is not the land of the dead; rather, it is a father crying over his daughter he has not seen in decades, and the flashback that follows. Call me a sucker. This new life of mine suits me well. With Coco, Pixar reestablishes itself as the animation studio without equal. Advanced, yes; it never forgets what matters: the heart of a story. And in another long overdue first, Pixar travels to another culture and in doing so, bridges the gap between more tangible worlds. Wrapped within a colorful world of Mexican culture and iconography is a very universal story and theme. Whether you’re from Maine or Mexico, family is family. Coco is a marvelous adventure in the grand tradition of animation. Sure, it has a glaring plot convenience bit it’s in how they handle it that makes the film shine. The voice work is stupendous and the music is wonderful. Expect its main theme ‘Remember Me’ to win big this year. It’s a testament to what we all want, to be remembered long after we’re gone, whether we’re across town or on the other side of life. We’ve drifted further apart as a society, stuck in our ways, our tribes. Coco reminds us that, at the end of it, we’re all just skeletons and we all want the same things. @movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri 1 SHOT ——- A fire burns at the climax of Three Billboards, the new film from Martin McDonagh (In Bruges). The fire is not the inferno raging in yellow-orange glory, rather, it is the flames of a grieving mother at the end of her rope. Mildred (Frances MacDormand, one of our national treasures) watches, horrified at herself. While most films would focus on solving the mystery at its core - who raped and killed Mildred’s daughter - and doubtlessly tie it all up in a nice bow. Billboards is more concerned with consequence and how that one event affects all who touch it; from Mildred to the police chief (Woody Harrelson), the deputy (Sam Rockwell) and on. MacDormand electrifies, nor is she unafraid to be unsympathetic. Emotions ebb and flow, loyalties shift. Just when you think you’ve figured someone out, the film switches gears. Harrelson delivers his role in a recent resurgence, but it is Sam Rockwell who should work on his acceptance speech. What a journey his Dixon goes through! The choice at the heart of Billboard is like that of the fable of the Two Wolves. It’s easy to feed the one that hates; hate is simple. But the lesson here is that hate can be exhausted, the fire can only burn so long before it consumes you. Through all of her scheming, McDormand only breaks things even further. It’s through the kindness of another - empathy, love - that a course is set. Billboards feels like any shot in the final ten minutes could be its last; and its ultimate choice is perfect. Two characters, on their way to feed the angry Wolf. Then again, perhaps not. They drive off into the sunset as one of the year’s best films. @amyeckertthomasson @movie_mattinee @samenightmovie
Justice League Dir: Zack Snyder 3 Shots ———- Justice League is certainly It has sets and actors and I am sure a script and little else. Fans of DC comics will no doubt be thrilled with the long dreamed about superhero team-up. Dreams die hard. Justice League is an utterly pedestrian big budget comic book affair, indulging in all the worst tendencies of the genre - CGI slugfests, standard plotting, uninspired villainy - while offering little of the evolution of said genre. In 2000, this would have been amazing; but this is 2017, and all three of Marvel’s offerings have been stellar. You have to sell a movie on more than just ‘at last!’. A badly rendered God of War mid-level boss named Steppenwolf is threatening the world by getting some MacGuffin cubes and something about Darkseid, and so it is up to Batman to assemble a team and avenge the world. Or something. The first hour is bringing the gang together, tossing in a few short chapters to get you up to speed on who they are. As with all such things, one can’t help but be reminded of how easy Marvel makes it look. The movie takes off a bit when the team is finally together. Not fighting - that’s a messy yawn at best - but when they’re getting interacting, getting to know one another. Ezra Miller as The Flash is wonderful comic relief, while Jason Momoa can jump between ripped-af badass to charming jerk in an instant as Aquaman. Poor Cyborg gets saddled with the technobabble and a distraught relationship with his dad. I want to see a full movie of him. Everyone’s favorite Gal Gadot continues her dominance as Wonder Woman Justice League clocks in at two hours and still drags in a lot of places. The fighting is interminable and weightless, a glorified quicktime event of mayhem and special dffects. The outcome is never in doubt. Our heroes never in peril. The film rarely strives for loftier goals, choosing instead to punch its way out. A few scenes of talking amongst the team hover close to being about something - the ethics of using a weapon, eg - before abruptly ending. Can’t have too much thinking in our superhero movies, now can we? Here’s the thing: why can’t we? @_amythomasson_ @movie_mattinee
Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Dir: Taika Waititi 2 SHOTS —�— After being the lovable hanger-on of the #MCU , director @taikawaititi has figured out what to do with the Lord -er, God - of Thunder. By harnessing the natural charm of #chrishemsworth and embracing the ridiculousness of the Asgardian universe, Waititi has crafted one of the funniest films of the year. It still fits entirely within the rubric that Marvel has maintained for twenty some odd pictures - there’s no greater depth here - but it is a light and breezy affair. Which, considering it’s about Ragnarok - the Norse end times - is saying something! The actors are all having fun. #tomhiddleston , once again as Loki, continues to be the perfect foil against Thor - brothers to the end! The great #cateblanchett chews the scenery as Hela, Goddess of Death. Is she challenged? Not at all, but boy howdy is she having a good time! #tessathompson shines as newcomer Valkyrie, a hard drinking, hard hitting warrior with her own baggage and what more can be said about the Hulk than ‘splat’? Despite his cginess, Ruffalo brings mean green to life. The strength of the film is its first half, where Thor finds himself engaged in gladiator combat on an alien world. The story is loose, fun and the desires more relatable than ‘save entire civilization’. Plus, it has Jeff Goldblum, so point there. But the film can be surprisingly dramatic when it needs to be - though some richer elements land with little weight (and with the audience believing that Stark can fix it anyway). The action is a bit chaotic at times and involves lots of CGI underlings and is saved by Waititi’s framing and music choices. Great use of Immigrant Song, or greatest use? Watching Thor figure out who he is truly meant to be takes a backseat to the shenanigans and constant banter & hilarity that is Thor: Ragnarok. They make Thor kind of a low key manipulative jerk, so his nobleness is a bit missed. He’s been through a lot - and Cap is pretty damn noble already, we don’t need another rigid Avenger. Give us a smile instead. Who knew that all you had to do with Thor is make him smile a bit more? @movie_mattinee @samenightmovie
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) 3 Shots —— At last, comes a king. Arthur’s tale is as old as English itself, and I assure you, you’ve never seen a take quite as modern as #guyritchie . Legend of the Sword takes what is otherwise a standard sword & sorcery epic/Moses retelling/revenge fantasy and splashes it with a heaping dollop of that Ritchie magic. The results are certainly mixed. Is it a good movie? Probably not, and the results of a handful of reshoots is certainly felt. Nor is it a terrible movie and if you let it wash over you, it’s a lot of fun. Style over substance; but with style like this - quick editing, pithy dialogue, flashbacks and flashbacks, absurd #CGI - that there is any substance at all is impressive! #charliehunnam delights as the roguish Arthur, he’s fun, heroic (reluctantly so) and easy to root for. Most of #gameofthrones shows up (Littlefinger! Roose!), but the real star is, was and always will be Jude Law as Vortigen, the EEEEEBBBIIILLL ruler of England. He’s delightful, and there’s not a scene that he does not chew and ask for more. Legend of the Sword is at once too serious and not serious enough. Ritchie milks the drama for all its worth, but is not above bantering like the London hoodlum capers he’s best known for. His hand (along with his editor’s) saves what would be an otherwise cliched monster adventure. There are great bits here - the opening is the best video game opening sequence ever - and a few choice montages say so much with efficiency, but it can’t quite overcome the dodgy CGI (mid-200s video game level) and standard story beats. God knows it tries! And while the result isn’t gold, it’s at least a precious metal. Will it make my Top 10? Probably not. But it will definitely make my Top 10 Video Games of thd Year. That we won’t get more of this universe is a sadness. Not a deep one, just a mild sadness. Because I had a lot of silly fun with this silly, silly movie. @oscarwatchpod @movie_mattinee
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