2017 Movie #112: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

2017 Movie #112: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

The gleefully over-the-top sequel to what was already a joyful ripoff of the James Bond movies, Kingsman: The Golden Circle goes bigger, bolder, and more over the top, expanding the Kingsman mythology and world in exciting ways that make for a promising future to this franchise. If you didn’t know that Kingsman was based on a comic book franchise, The Golden Circle makes that fact quite clear, both for better and for worse.

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2017 Movie #111: Happy Death Day (2017)

2017 Movie #111: Happy Death Day (2017)

Happy Death Day feels like the type of movie that could go on to have a long shelf life as teens will watch it over and over at parties and sleepovers. This movie, pitched with an easy-to-understand high concept, falls in at a perfect darkly comedic wavelength that makes it accessible even for those who are not big horror fans. It’s Scream meets Groundhog Day, and if Happy Death Day can’t live up to either of those pieces of source material, it comes surprisingly close.

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2017 Movie #110: American Made (2017)

2017 Movie #110: American Made (2017)

American Made is a less successful collaboration between Tom Cruise and Doug Liman than 2014 sci-fi action thriller Edge of Tomorrow, but it’s not Cruise’s fault. In American Made, Cruise continues to be insanely charismatic, here depicting American pilot and notorious arms & drugs smuggler Barry Seal, a larger-than-life figure out of a sordid era of American foreign policy.

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2017 Movie #109: Strange Days (1995)

2017 Movie #109: Strange Days (1995)

Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days is a bizarre oddity of a film; it’s almost impossible to think that this film got made. This is an unwieldy film full of big ideas, ideas about race, about sex, visions of the future that prove prescient in some ways and bizarrely misguided in others. If Strange Days represents something of a creative misfire on Bigelow’s part, a film that is almost unpalatable to watch because of how far out of left field it is, it also represents a complete, bold creative swing.

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2017 Movie #108: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

2017 Movie #108: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

In Blade Runner 2049, visionary Canadian director Denis Villeneuve manages to live up to the legacy of the iconic classic Ridley Scott film Blade Runner. As I previously cataloged, Villeneuve is in many ways the perfect director to follow in Ridley Scott’s footsteps, as much a visionary stylist whose films tend towards a kind of frigidity, and Blade Runner 2049 very much proves that comparison true. If Blade Runner 2049 has shortcomings, they are very much its almost passionless frigidity and extreme length.

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2017 Movie #107: Stop Making Sense (1984)

2017 Movie #107: Stop Making Sense (1984)

In Stop Making Sense, the Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs)-directed concert film for Talking Heads, the iconic ’80s new wave quartet, lead singer David Byrne grabs your attention and hypnotizes you in non-stop action, presenting a series of characters and personas that differ from song to song, culminating in the unmistakable image of Byrne, suited in a comically oversized suit, wiggling his arms and legs, in almost dizzying fashion.

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2017 Movie #106: After Hours (1985)

2017 Movie #106: After Hours (1985)

New York City has never felt smaller than in After Hours, Martin Scorsese’s delightfully offbeat 1985 comedy about a man trapped in the wrong side of New York. Griffin Dunne stars here as Paul Hackett, a word processor (hard to believe that was once a profession!) who goes up to SoHo to visit a girl who takes a shine to him. From there it’s all downhill as every possible thing that can go wrong for Paul does.

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