Laramie Movie Scope
Deepwater Horizon (2016)
"While this disaster movie doesn't do that great a job at explaining exactly what went wrong, it does succeed in putting the audience in the middle of the action with effective point-of-view cinematography by Enrique Chediak."
Hell or High Water (2016)
"Hell or High Water is a smartly-written (by Taylor Sheridan of Sicario) well-acted film that closely observes its characters and their relationships, even minor characters, which are often glossed over in lesser films."
"When the movie gets around to actually depicting the incident itself, fragmented though it is, it is a visual tour de force, with convincing images of the aircraft, trailing smoke, gliding through the sky, not far enough above New York City."
War Dogs (2016)
"This is a very entertaining tale of greed, corruption, lawlessness and danger, but more than that, it is a tale of two old friends whose greed leads them to become enemies. It is a bit like a modern take on 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.'"
Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
"The stop motion animation and the 3D effects are very good. The look of the film is also very artistic and imaginative. It is doing all right in America, but I think overseas is where it will really shine."
The Business of Amateurs (2016)
"This is a film which should be seen by every football player and every athlete thinking of signing an athletic letter of intent to any college, and by every parent and family member of those athletes."
Pete's Dragon (2016)
"This film packs an emotional punch. It is well acted and directed. There is action and there is spectacle, but it doesn't overwhelm the story, which is essentially about human relationships, friendships and love."
Suicide Squad (2016)
"Thanks to some interesting characters and some Deadpool-inspired gallows humor, this is a fun film to watch, but not as much fun as it should have been. It has problems, but it does manage to rise a bit above the usual Hollywood mediocrity."
Jason Bourne (2016)
"This Bourne movie is a bit more loose than the others, not as tightly constructed, but the action scenes are effective enough, the characters are believable and the story is compelling. It works well enough."
Star Trek Beyond (2016)
"The first big action sequence seemed very chaotic and poorly lit. The story is also pretty convoluted and not very convincing as far as why the characters behave the way they do, particularly the villains and their minions."
The BFG (2016)
"This is a very powerful film with excellent performances by Stephan James and Jason Sudeikis. Director Stephen Hopkins maintains a good pace, despite having a lot of characters and a complicated story to deal with."
Free State of Jones (2016)
"I give Gary Ross a lot of credit for doing a lot of research and being so dedicated to bringing this story to the screen. This film is a good history lesson, but as a screen drama, it doesn't quite work."
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
"It is a cheesy spectacle with a breezy plot that isn't believable, but it doesn't take itself seriously anyway. The fishing boat surfing on the tidal wave scene proves that. This is just a dumb, but fun popcorn movie with lots of action and humor."
"Unless you are very familiar with the video game or novels, trying to follow the plot of this movie is like trying to follow a story committee meeting in which the participants are having a lot of disagreements. It is hardly a standalone story."
Now You See Me 2 (2016)
" This Mad Hatter adventure in Wonderland is a worthy follow up to the more successful 2010 film 'Alice in Wonderland.' In addition to adventure, there is also the kind of clever word play and sly humor one expects from the source material."
The Finest Hours (2016)
"While the build up to the rescue, and the post-rescue part of the story is weak, the rescue itself is amazing. Many scenes appeared way too dark, perhaps due to a dim projector, a common issue in movie theaters, especially in 3D showings."
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
"The movie is filled to overflowing with characters, subplots and groundwork for future X-Men films. Despite being overstuffed, the plot works well enough, and there is more than enough spectacle for action film fans."
Money Monster (2016)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
"When I saw that this was going to be a clash of superheroes, with former friends fighting each other, I wondered how they were going to set it up. Very carefully, it turns out, with a solid screenplay and strong performances."
Eye In The Sky (2016)
"Only very hard-hearted people will not be moved by this film, in which there are no easy answers. There is one missing piece of drone warfare question here: Does drone warfare create more enemies than it kills? This film doesn't go there."
The Jungle Book (2016)
Hardcore Henry (2016)
"The relentless point of view videography is a visually restrictive technique. I got tired of the boring repetition of so many shootings, stabbings, hacking and beatings, all seen from the exact same viewpoint."
The Witch (2016)
"This is a super dark and depressing story. Though it is well acted, and it does have some emotional power, I would not recommend that anyone spend money to see this movie that tries to have its supernatural cake, and fake reality too."
The Man (2005)
"While Fiddler is a bumbler, he is not stupid, and actually makes a few good decisions. Vann is clever dealing with criminals, but he has some emotional shortcomings. They are an interesting pair, and in this genre, that is what really counts."
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
"The performances in this film are excellent. Director Dan Trachtenberg does a great job of maintaining the intensity of the suffocating suspense in this thriller. The screenplay sizzles with tension, and it rises to a whole new level at the end."
London Has Fallen (2016)
"Some will find this movie offensive because it is politically incorrect, but I was O.K. with it. After all, it is just a big, dumb action film. There is a message in it, too, about the unintended consequences of drone strikes."
"There are some good acting performances by Nick Cannon (who also sings a couple of songs) Jennifer Hudson (who also sings a song on the soundtrack) and Teyonah Parris. The soundtrack of this film should have gotten an Academy Award nomination."
Camp X-Ray (2014)
"This is an excellent movie. It is a powerful drama set at the Guantanamo Bay prison. It avoids political posturing and gets down the human interaction between guards and prisoners, while avoiding the usual prison clichés."
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
"It is the best comedy ever by award-winning directors Ethan and Joel Coen, but much of its content will probably go right over the heads of most people in the audience. This screwball satire is both smart, and silly."
Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
"If this sounds like a lot of eastern philosophy and religion, it is, but it is also a good story, with strong characters. There is also some kung fu action, of course, but the main story is about the spiritual journey of Po."
Pawn Sacrifice (2015)
"In the end, however, it seems Fischer is just a one-trick pony. Apart from chess, Fischer seems stunted as a human being. It is an interesting tale, and a sad one, about the thin line between genius and madness. "
The Duke Of Burgundy (2015)
The 5th Wave (2016)
"It gets into survival mode pretty quick, and turns out that the misfits, the delinquents, the non-conformists in society are those that handle this situation best. I hope they complete this trilogy."
Learning To Drive (2015)
Song Of Lahore (2015)
"The film ends on an upbeat note, but it is not easy being a musician in Pakistan. In the film, a musician points to an article in a Lahore newspaper about a musician who was murdered, just because he was a musician."
Irrational Man (2015)
Horse Money (2015)
The Armor Of Light (2015)
I Smile Back (2015)
"It would be nice if this film offered more hope for Laney, but it isn't that kind of film. It is just a slice of life, and a pretty depressing slice at that, with a disturbing beginning, a dismal end and false hope in the middle."
Far From the Madding Crowd (2015)