Finally saw A STAR IS BORN--it's as good as critics have been writing! I knew that Lady Gaga would be good, but Bradley Cooper is fantastic. Charming, and tortured and with better motivations than previous versions of this film (Tho' I really like James Mason)--the movie is better with 2 equal actors in it. The locations are great--real SNL set!-but the cinematography is so intimate, and so much from the performers perspective. The music is great too. I loved the rewriting that made this contemporary. Smart, emotional film!
Saw THE INCREDIBLES 2 today, and really liked it. One of the best action films of the summer, along with being a family comedy and superhero film. The voice cast is excellent--the villain is really well done and well motivated. The art is great and the best thing may be the jazzy score. Stay for the credits just to hear the 3 superhero theme songs! Top notch Pixar entertainment! Plus the charming short BAO kicks the film off!
Saw JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM today., an decent sequel to the 2015 blockbuster. Critics will hate it--it replays many of the same themes in the series, there's another vague corrupt business that drives the plot, and some plot stuff only makes sense to make a cool scene. But the positives are the 2 stars (Pratt channels Harrison Ford well here), some other cast members (love Toby Jones take on a greedy American), a good score and really great looking dinosaurs! It moves pretty well, and is a fine film to duck out of the hot weather. Let's hope the next one is a little more clever!
Saw SOLO :A STAR WARS STORY today, a good, but not great chapter in the ongoing series. It's a great looking film, but flows in first gear until charismatic Lando (Donald Glover) and a sharp Phoebe Waller Bridge as L3 appear. Then the film snaps to life and is a fun ride. The cast is strong (well, Emilia Clarke could be more fun). If you're tired of Star Wars, you may not like it--even the music is pretty familiar. But if your a fan, it's a solid film!
Saw BLACK PANTHER, a terrific Marvel film that builds and expands the world that we've seen in the Marvel films. We don't have the traditional origin story for the Panther, but join him after CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR as he ascends the throne of Wakanda. The film lays out the world of Wakanda well, and sets up the various conflicts very well--along with the women who are his main allies. The technical aspects of the films are terrific--especially the costumes, art design and score--but the script and the outstanding performance make the film. Michael B. Jordan isne of the best villains, with real grievances and his American dialect contrasts well with the African dialects. Andy Serkis has great fun as Klaw the arms dealer, and Martin Freeman is good in a larger than expected role. But it's the main cast-- Danai Guiri, Lupita N'yongo, letter Wright (the funny Q of Wakanda), Winston Duke and Chadwick Boseman as the Panther that elevate this to one of the best of the Marvel films. Recommended!