Sunday, June 24, 2018

Ocean's 8

Alternate Title:  Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend
One sentence synopsis:  Danny Ocean's sister recruits a team of female thieves to steal a valuable diamond necklace from the New York Met Gala.

Things Havoc liked: I really liked Ocean's Eleven (the Clooney version). I did not like its sequels. In this, I expect that I resemble largely every moviegoer in America. The original (yes, I know it's a remake, shut up), was a cool, confident heist film, one that held together well, had interesting character actors playing interesting character roles, and was overall a template for how modern heist movies should be made. Soderbergh has gone on to bigger and better things since the Ocean's series seemingly ended, but here comes Gary Ross, of Pleasantville and the surprisingly good Free State of Jones, to give us an all-female version of the formula.

All-female versions of movies, well... let's be honest with ourselves here, they generally suck. They suck because the selling point of the movie is simply that the cast is female, with no thought given to making the movie stand out from their source material in any way beyond this, meaning that the film is almost definitionally derivative, often resulting in abject crap like the Ghostbusters remake of 2016. But to do this as a heist film makes a lot more sense. Heist films are inherently derivative, in that the plot is effectively "steal some shit", and the film is the course of the characters going about stealing it. Doing an all-female version of that makes far more sense than remaking a specific film, especially if the cast is good.

And oh yes, this cast is good. Cate Blanchett, an actress I love, plays Lou, partner in crime to Debbie Ocean, our protagonist, and basically takes on the Brad Pitt role from the original film, wisecracking and being generally cool. Mindy Kaling, whom I love dearly, and Helena Bonham Carter, whom I love dearly on the rare occasions when she's not working with Tim Burton, both liven the cast tremendously, the former as a jeweler desperate to get away from her domineering parents, the latter as an Irish fashion designer desperate to get away from the piles of IRS debt she has incurred through disastrous decisions (an early sequence wherein one of her fashion shows flops magnificently is a highlight). But the best element of the cast is Anne Hathaway, playing the air-headed celebrity target of the heist itself, who gets all the best material playing the sort of person who can lose someone else's $150,000,000 necklace and get angry at them for being upset.

Heist films live or die by their plot coherence, and Ocean's 8 manages to avoid the pitfalls that ruined movies like Logan Lucky by having one that works. The key here is plausibility. The steps that the girls take to steal the jewels they are after make sense within the context of the film, even if a sharp-eyed smark can find ways in which things would fall apart in the real world. We can follow the action from start to finish, and the obligatory twists as the plan almost falls apart and is rescued at the last second are believable, if extreme. This is not as minor a factor as it sounds, as it takes real skill to put together a plot that convincingly sounds like an impossibly difficult plan pulled off by a team of skilled con artists and thieves, and not like a load of writer contrivance designed to get the audience forcefully to the next scene.

Things Havoc disliked: You may have noticed, if you are familiar with this movie, that when I praised the cast, I neglected to mention the actual lead, Sandra Bullock, an actress I also dearly love, and who is just not good at all in this one. I don't know what went wrong, if she made a bad set of decisions in terms of her acting or if the director gave her bad instructions, but she's terrible in this film, attempting to replicate the George Clooney chill by simply bleeding all emotion out of her character entirely. Everyone else in the movie manages to evidence cool without evidencing such a boring affect, so why Bullock can't is utterly beyond me.

But the main problem with Ocean's 8 is that it's just... alright. It has an all right plot with an alright heist attached to it, planned and executed by alright characters to meet its alright ending with some alright jokes along the way. It managed to entertain for its run time, but only just, and leave a positive impression, but only slightly. It's in every way a 'passable' film, not excelling, not failing, just pretty decent across the board. Whether this is because there was no real intention to make it more than "alright", given that most movies of its type are not even that, or because whatever thrills and excitement the filmmakers intended to add to it simply didn't make it through, I have no idea. The result is the same. Ocean's 8 is an alright film. It is not much more.

Final thoughts:   I really hate writing reviews like this one, as movies that engender a passionate response, be it positive or negative, are much easier to review. Still, I can't get mad at Ocean's 8, as it is a perfectly serviceable, pretty decent movie, one I will not be recalling with scorn once the end of the year worst list comes around (probably). Go see it if you are enthusiastic about the cast or concept, and skip it if not. It makes very little difference either way.

Final Score:  5.5/10

Next Time:  Dinosaurs!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Hotel Artemis

Alternate Title:  Budget John Wick
One sentence synopsis:  Various characters turn up at a secret hospital for criminals during a massive riot in near-future Los Angeles.

Things Havoc liked: I don't see enough of Jodie Foster. She's one of Hollywood's gems, always interesting to watch, choosing interesting roles, and I only encounter her about once every five years or so, and the last time was Elysium, so to hell with that. I went to see this movie entirely because she was in it (and because of who else was), and so before we go anywhere else, I want recognition from you all that this was a good decision.

Hotel Artemis stars Jodie Foster as a nurse, known almost exclusively as "The Nurse", an agoraphobic who runs a seedy hotel named the Artemis that moonlights as a hospital for paying members of a criminal club that strongly resembles the one in the John Wick movies, albeit the low-rent version. Foster's brilliant in this one, shuffling through the halls of her semi-decrepit old hotel like an old woman, trying to keep the plates spinning as one semi-crazed criminal after another requires her services on the night of a gigantic riot sweeping through downtown Los Angeles. Wrapped up in an inexplicable Brooklyn accent, she carries the film effortlessly.

Though not without help. Indeed Hotel Artemis has a whole bunch of actors in it that I adore seeing. Sterling K Brown, whom most of you will remember as N'Jobu (Father of Killmonger) in Black Panther, plays Waikiki, an armed robber whose brother is shot in the theft of a bank vault and who winds up having to hole up at the Artemis as the riots spread across the city. Similarly holed up are Sofia Boutella, one of my favorite action actresses working, playing (what else) a French super-assassin, and Charlie Day (of Lego Movie) as a douchebag (Charlie Day is very good at this). Dave Bautista, meanwhile, who has become a much better actor since getting his start in Guardians of the Galaxy, plays Everest, who is so named because... well... you get it. The combination of all of these actors together would be enough for me, but add Zachary Quinto and Jeff Freaking Goldblum (playing a mafia don of all things) really pitches the film over the edge into truly awesome territory. I would watch these actors having lunch, let alone starring in a crazy kooky action-hijinx movie. And fortunately, Hotel Artemis is not about them having lunch.

Things Havoc disliked: Unfortunately, it's not a crazy kooky action-hijinx movie either.

I don't know who's been setting up trailers for these films recently, but this is the third or fourth film in a very short amount of time whose trailers were written by lying liars who tell lies. Hotel Artemis was pitched to me in the trailers as being a fun action-comedy, a crazy madcap movie full of wacky hijinx and hilarious interplay between the various characters. Instead, the movie is a fairly dramatic character-study of the Nurse and a number of other characters, all set against the backdrop of a dystopian cyberpunk reality.

Now this isn't necessarily a bad thing, in fact the resulting film is possibly more interesting than the alternative would have been, but it's never a great thing to go in expecting comedy and not receiving it, and Hotel Artemis does that. Instead, there are interminable sequences wherein we are intended to get to know the characters better through threat and dramatic interplay. Some of these work, mostly because it's excellent actors engaging in them, and some do not, such as an endless sequence that goes nowhere involving a cop that the nurse decides to allow into the facility, in violation of the hallowed "rules". Your mileage will vary as always, I didn't have too much of a problem with the bait and switch, but do not go into this movie expecting a cornucopia of wacky fun, as suggested by the marketing campaign.

There's also the question of the film's ending, which is a muddled mess of bad ideas, as though the scriptwriters, having gotten to a certain point, could not figure out what to do afterwards. There are obligatory fight sequences, not shot with any particular energy or stylism, there are tearful departures and triumphant moments as characters overcome the handicaps they have been presented as living with, it all feels tremendously rote. The dystopian elements of the background setting are never expounded upon or dealt with in any way, making it feel as though large sections of plot were cut for time or interest, and the entire film just sort of... ends eventually. It's hardly enough to ruin everything, but it's not the best way to leave a strong impression of your movie as I'm walking out the door.

Final thoughts:   Hotel Artemis is a strange film, there's no question, and it is not the film that I was
expecting to watch, but despite a meandering plot that seems to waste a lot of time and an ending that goes nowhere in particular, the cast itself has such a genuine strength and chemistry to it that I have to admit I enjoyed it quite a bit. It's not a movie destined to reshape the landscape of film or anything (and it's presently engaged in bombing spectacularly), but it's a solid movie, interesting enough to be worth a watch, and unlike Red Sparrow, it will not send anyone into flashbacks.

Well, unless groaty hotels bring up your worst nightmares, that is.

Final Score:  7/10

Next Time:  Anything you can Steal, I can Steal Better.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Red Sparrow

Alternate Title:  Trigger Warning
One sentence synopsis:  A ballet dancer becomes a Russian spy at a specialized training school, before being assigned to uncover the identity of a mole in the Russian intelligence service.

Things Havoc liked: The whole point of seeing one movie a week is that I get to see everything I want to, and nothing I don't, something I continuously remind the people who insist that I go see godawful pieces of obvious crap for their amusement. Overall, this system has worked well for me, but it's not perfect, as occasionally the movies stack up in such a way that I miss something I was hoping to catch. So it was with Red Sparrow, a spy thriller that looked, according to the trailers, like a cross between Atomic Blonde and the Black Widow movie that Marvel has been threatening to make for quite some time, all starring one of my favorite working actresses. So when, recently, I had a chance to double back and actually catch this one, I was excited to have a chance to do so?

So what did I think? I think the trailer house responsible for this one are filthy, filthy liars.

Why? Because Red Sparrow is not what it was sold to me as. It is not some kind of spy thriller romp through the badass parts of spydom. No, sir, it's something entirely different, and this fact is something anyone considering the movie needs to bear in mind. Red Sparrow has nothing to do with Black Widow or Spygame or other movies about the cool parts of spywork, it instead draws inspiration from two places: John leCarre movies about the bland, thankless, awful parts of real spywork, and I Spit on Your Grave.

Yeah, the Trigger Warning above was real, folks. Dig in.

Red Sparrow, based on an award-winning novel from a former CIA operative, is about a Russian ballerina named Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence), who, following a career-ending injury, is forced by her connected uncle to join the ranks of spy workers, called Sparrows, who train in the arts of seduction, emotional manipulation, and general ruthlessness to advance the Russian policy of "Kompromat" (the discovery and exploitation of compromising material on foreign assets) by means of (I'm not making this word up) "Sexpionage". Everything is portrayed in as realistic a manner as possible, from the dehumanizing training methods, to the constant one-eye-over-your-shoulder means by which such agents are required to go about their actual work, with very little to look forward to beyond being dragged back home for an even more dehumanizing "debriefing"/interrogation. It should be said that Lawrence is very good at portraying all of this (even if her Russian accent is less only slightly more convincing than Scarlett Johanson's). She nails the paranoia and helplessness of the character, who is in a position wherein staying alive for five more minutes is contingent on her willingness to do unspeakable, disgusting things, and where the danger comes not from the CIA, but from her own handlers.

As you can imagine, this all makes Red Sparrow a very bleak movie, something director Francis Lawrence (Hunger Games, Constantine) takes as many pains as possible to reinforce. The color palate is all muted greys and overcast, icy landscapes, the sterile confines of doctors' offices and the dingy interiors of FSB black sites. Characters are constantly being forced to strip naked and cast aside moral distinctions, to do one disgusting, vile task after another, to seduce one another and spy on each other for the slimmest of political advantages. The music (Longtime Lawrence collaborator James Newton Howard) is dour and laden with pregnant minor chords, building an air of paranoia across the board. It's a quintessential film school movie, ultimately, where all the elements reinforce the tone of the thing, and are available to be broken down into their constituent parts so that essays like these ones can be written about them.

Things Havoc disliked: Which is all well and good, but we're not in film school here, we're here to talk about movies to see and movies to avoid, and all that bleakness is going to (hell, HAS) resulted in a big old warning sign being stapled on the film for a considerable number of people.

Look, I'm no enemy to bleak films. I thought Wind River was one of the best movies of last year. But there needs to be a point to all of it for such movies to be worthy of a recommendation, and Red Sparrow... struggles to find one. I know that the practice of spywork resembles John leCarre more than it does James Bond. I know that real spywork is not glamorous but thankless, boring busiwork carried out by mediocre men in airless rooms. I know all these things because fifty different films from The Spy Who Came in from the Cold onwards have taught me them, and so I need something beyond "Being a spy sucks" to justify being dragged through it all once again, especially when the film in question advertises itself as being a fun spy romp in the style of Salt. I've always said that it's not fair to criticize a movie for not being another movie, but it is fair to criticize a movie for not being the movie it pretended to be during the marketing push, and Red Sparrow sets off that alarm loud and clear.

Ultimately, the movie is just not enjoyable in a way that fun spy romps are made to be. It is a cryptic, difficult movie to penetrate, one that ultimately proves not as intelligent as it thinks it is, nor does it have any of the sense of trashy fun that might have elevated the material into a must-watch. Everything in the movie is done competently, but nothing about it demands to be seen, justifying the awful lengths to which the actors and characters are put with some kind of haunting, thought-provoking, or simply gripping story in some regard. Instead we get to watch a bunch of characters put through hell for a corrupt spy agency that hates them and then we get to go home. Fun times at the local cineplex?

Final thoughts:   I'm never sure what to do with movies like Red Sparrow, which are well-made films, but ultimately not very enjoyable to the viewer. In part, it seems unfair to give them low scores, as the movies are, as I mentioned, well-structured and shot, but at the same time, I go to the movies to be entertained, and there isn't much in terms of entertainment value to a movie this grim for this little purpose. Fully half of the people I watched this one with walked out of it, simply uninterested in putting themselves through the thing for any further length of time, when the reward was simply going to be a moral of "Spywork sucks". As such, the best I can do is suggest that you make your own mind up as to whether Red Sparrow is a good one for you, and move on to the next movie.

Final Score:  6/10

Next Time:  Jodie Foster has a bad day in Los Angeles

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Alternate Title:  Poor Life Choices
One sentence synopsis:  A man crippled by the attack which killed his wife seeks an experimental AI-implanted surgery to enable him to seek revenge.

Things Havoc liked: I've talked a lot about MAEWISAMBAKEWTHW movies (that stands for Middle-Aged-Everyman-Who-Is-Secretly-A-Massive-Badass-And-Kills-Everyone-Who-Threatens-His-Women) on this little project of mine, in such fine fare as the Taken sequels and the Equalizer (soon to get an entirely unearned sequel of its own). But the truth is that the MAEWISAMBAKEWTHW film is really nothing more than a sub-genre of another, similarly-august type of film, the Revenge thriller. Revenge thrillers go way, waaaaay back, at least as far back as 1974's Death Wish, the Charles Bronson movie that spawned an entire series of films of decreasing quality, and inspired a genre that includes its own remake from earlier this year. I am neither in favor of nor against the Revenge Thriller, it is a genre like any other, but I was intrigued by one that offered to combine it with the cyberpunk techno-thriller genre to create something at least slightly different.

Upgrade stars Logan Michael-Green, the very, very poor man's Tom Hardy, as an auto mechanic named Grey who, in keeping with the theme of the genre, has his life turned upside down when a group of hardened criminals ambush him and his wife, killing her and crippling him. Traditional Revenge movies would involve him proceeding to train rigorously as a badass with the intention of taking violent, cinematic vengeance against those who have wronged him. The trick this time though, is that as a quadriplegic, Michael Green needs the assistance of the obligatory antisocial Tech genius (Harrison Gilbertson), who outfits him with a revolutionary new cybernetic system called STEM (SYMBOLISM!!!). This bypasses the need for the obligatory training montage, by enabling STEM to take control of Grey's body and eradicate his enemies with judicious Kung-Fu and General Ultra-violence. I have never been much of a fan of Michael-Green's, (his greatest previous claim to fame was Prometheus of all things), but it can't be denied that he meets the demands of the physical acting required to portray a man controlled by a robot which is kung-fu fighting, evidencing a minimalist combat-style that is actually quite unique in my vast experience of watching people beat the shit out of one another on screen. I won't go as far as to say that I became a fan of Michael-Green through this performance, Prometheus looms large in my memory, but he helps the movie more than he hurts it, and that isn't nothing.

Upgrade was written and directed by Australian horror author and director Leigh Whannell, formerly of the Insidious series and some of the Saw sequels. Upgrade never gets to the point of torture porn films, but has a rather unique body-horror twist on the general Revenge-movie formula, involving the semi- and involuntary takeover of one's body by external forces, as well as the panic when those forces begin to fail. Whannell's direction isn't inspired, but the film has twists in it I didn't expect going in even accounting for the oddity of the genre-mashing premise. Revenge movies tend to be extremely simplistic affairs, our hero kills the bad men until he is done doing so. Occasionally someone, usually a woman, will fret over the inhumanity of the violence he is unleashing, but the film does not stop said violence until the bad men are dead, roll credits. Upgrade does not take a novel moral approach to this question, (something the actual Death Wish novel did, interestingly enough), but it does bring a bit of modern horror sensibility to its mashup. The direction and cinematography are dark and gruesome where they need to be, though no more. Overall the term "workmanlike" comes to mind thinking of Upgrade. It manages to avoid embarrassing itself, not a small feat given the pedigree of its actors and director.

Things Havoc disliked: You can't gauge a movie like this one on the same lines that you could Casablanca or a Star Wars film. Moreso than anything else, Upgrade is a genre piece, and must be judged by the conventions of its genre, in this case R rated action thrillers. And by those standards, one must admit that Upgrade doesn't quite measure up. It's not that the film is terrible, it isn't, but there is little for an MPAA censor to become upset about. I have a long and tempestuous history with R-rated action films and this one could have been PG-13 with about 30 seconds of footage removed. That is not a compliment. I understand, this was an Australian micro-budget production with very little room for fancy effects, but when I go to see a R-rated action-body horror movie, I expect to see some real shit, man, not two-minute sections of awkward Kung-Fu followed by a little bit of blood. There's just not enough here to justify the great claims that a movie that pretends to be re-inventing the action genre makes, and as a result, true aficionados of the genre (both of them) need not worry that they are missing something earth-shattering in this one.

There is also the acting, which I would dearly love to say very little about, and cannot, because it generally sucks. I know I praised the physical work of Michael-Green, but the rest of the cast is pretty lackluster, even accounting for the fact that they're mostly Australian micro-production actors of no real pedigree. Everyone is wooden, reciting their lines with a bare minimum of emphasis, generally in the wrong places. People calmly and glibly ask not to be murdered by screaming psychopaths, while overselling perfectly basic comments to one another over dinner. The body horror aspect becomes forced after a while, with developments like guns built laboriously into people's arms (the advantages thereby offered over just carrying a damn gun do not jump out at me) which are utterly useless except to "shock" us with their horror (um... noooo?). The movie never becomes boring or outright bad, but the mechanics of the basic building blocks are not in order, and that does limit how good the thing can become.

Final thoughts:   Upgrade is a decent little film, if nothing more, though nothing that will either give you a rush of supreme excitement to be remembered through the years, nor that will keep you up at night from its terrifying horror elements. It's a reasonably clever little film about cyborgs beating the crap out of one another that doesn't intend to be a whole lot more than the above sentence. If that sounds like it's your cup of tea, then go forth and bear witness. And if not, well, there are worse things for you to catch on late night cable in a few years' time.

Final Score:  6/10

Next Time:  Doubling back to find out if a movie we missed was worth the fuss.

Saturday, June 2, 2018


Alternate Title:  Bros Before Hos
One sentence synopsis:  Han Solo tries to escape a dead-end life of poverty and gutter-running on Corellia by joining up with a crew of thieves and outcasts from across the Galaxy.

Things Havoc liked: I was not a big fan of Rogue One, Star Wars' first foray into the standalone movies that they were establishing separate from the mainline continuities, mostly because the movie, while interesting enough in theme and style, had way too many characters and not enough time to establish any of them. I was consequently not entirely enthusiastic about the prospect of a solo Solo movie , as the trailers were underwhelming, and the idea rather obvious, I thought. I try not to let rumors of production madness affect my judgment on films, but there was that as well, with directors being fired for not doing what the studio wanted and other directors and actors being hurriedly hired to fix things in post. All this together produced a movie I had little expectation for, and went into figuring that, whatever happened, at least it was unlikely to be Attack of the Clones.

So, was Solo any good? Well to my surprise, yes. Yes it was. Not great mind you, but still quite good, better than I expected it to be given the combination of rumor, hearsay, and scheduling that was being leveraged against it. And the primary reason for all of this, as so often, is the cast.

Alden Ehrenreich, an actor I have seen in Hail, Caesar, and little else, is tasked with somehow trying to replace Harrison Ford in the titular role, and while I was skeptical of such, he manages actually fairly well with the role. Is he better than Ford was? Of course not. But he manages to be recognizably Han Solo, albeit a younger, less cynical version of our favorite roguish scoundrel, and that's more difficult a task than it appears to be. He's assisted by a secondary cast that overall manages well, including Emilia Clarke, Danarys Targarian herself, as Qi'ra, a fellow gutter runner from the slum planet of Corellia, who manages, like Han, to somehow work her way out. I've not been a fan of Clarke's non-GoT roles in the other movies I've seen her in (the execrable Terminator: Genesys being the first to come to mind), but she's actually pretty decent this time around, sharing workable chemistry with Ehrenreich, and avoiding the stone-faced routine that she's usually engaged in with her other roles.

No Solo movie would be complete without a cast of ruffians, rogues, thieves, and gangsters of course, and by and large the film fills itself with a good catalogue thereof. Woody Harrelson, who has increasingly become an actor I look forward to as he's gotten older, plays Tobias Beckett, an older smuggler and criminal who winds up taking the younger Han under his wing and into his crew, comprised of Thandie Newton and a four-armed alien creature played by Jon Favreau. Despite limited time to set up and get to know these characters, unlike in Rogue One, we get a good sense of camaraderie and lived-in understandings, and a clear sense of the world and place these people fit into, even as the cast swells with the addition of everything from a revolutionary droid-rights activist, to Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo, who has been playing the character in the new films, and with whom Han's relationship works very well), to Paul Bettany as a last-minute addition to the cast, playing the requisite crime syndicate leader, lording his power over everyone, partying and killing with equal efficiency, and snarling at people constantly in the best Jabbaesque tradition. Bettany doesn't do much beyond reprise his performance in Legend with a few extra scars on his face, but it works.

The best thing in the movie though? Donald Glover, Childish Gambino himself, an actor I've never liked (though I am assured this is because I've not seen him in the correct roles), but who is absolutely spot-on perfect as a younger Lando Calrissian. Unlike Han's grubby background, Glover plays Lando as a conman and cardshark, a charming gambler with a rakish side to him, the sort of man who can both handle a blaster and keep a wardrobe full of half-capes at the ready, because a man must look stylish to play the proper part. Glover has everything down, the cool, charming affect, the Billy-Dee Williams cadence, the magnetism of a character who was once the only black guy in the galaxy. It's a performance good enough to convince me that I was probably wrong about Glover the entire time, that his role in The Martian was a fluke of bad directing or something, and that he's an actor to watch moving forward.

Things Havoc disliked: The plot of Solo is nothing to write home about, for all the twists and turns that it takes. Aspirational kid gets out of bad situation, gets in trouble, gets himself out of trouble, finds more trouble, etc etc... It's not done poorly done or anything, and indeed there are some sequences that are fairly inspired, such as a quiet heist that gets turned into a massive revolution almost by accident. Overall though, the film is fairly formulaic, and gets moreso as the movie continues. And that's something of the problem.

You see, Solo was supposed to have been directed by The Lego Movie's Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, a superb directing team who have already once struck gold with a movie that had a pretty standard plot to it. For whatever reason, this arrangement failed, and Lord and Miller were taken off the project and replaced by Ron Howard. Though Howard is one of the finest directors working, he was brought late into the project, had bare weeks left to shoot and reshoot key scenes, something not helped by having to re-cast major characters and hire acting coaches for others. Don't get me wrong, Howard did a credible job, but the seams between what he put together and what Lord and Miller did are obvious and visible, and result in the movie being both overlong (two different plots have to be established one after the next), and possessed of a weak third act that seems a let down from what came before it.  Howard, after all, is a very good but very "safe" director, whose sequences are also exceedingly "safe", relative to what came before it.  I don't blame Howard for this at all, mind you, nor veteran editor Pietro Scalia (of Gladiator, Kick Ass, and Black Hawk Down). They did the best they could with the circumstances they were handed. I blame whatever studio shenanigans resulted in this decision being made in the first place, because for all Howard and Scalia's efforts, the film left me wanting to watch the rest of Lord and Miller's version, as that one promised to be much more interesting than what we ultimately got.

Final thoughts:   Still, I can only get so angry at a movie for failing to be as good as the Lego Movie, and despite its patched together state, Solo is actually a pretty damn good little film, entertaining throughout and palpably fun in a way that bad Star Wars media is not. Neither weighty like the new films or Rogue One, nor stupid like the prequels, it stands as its own thing, a partial (and conditional) vindication of the concept of the Star Wars anthology series, good enough at least to warrant a look, and to justify its existence. I'm uncertain if there are more sequels to Solo in the offing, the film hints at possibilities at the very least, but given what we have here, I'm at least open to the possibility.

If nothing else, it's a better idea than the Boba Fett: Origins movie they've continuously threatened to make.
Final Score:  7/10

Next Time:  June is a stacked month.  What say we start things off with a little bit of Horror-Comedy?

The General's Post Summer 2018 Roundup

Let's get back into the swing of things, shall we? The General's Post Summer 2018 Roundup Ant-Man and the Wasp Alternate Ti...