Review: Jupiter Ascending

Andy and Lana Wachowski haven’t been able to match the brilliance of their cultural touchstone movie The Matrix with anything else they’ve done. Not with the increasingly banal sequels to the film, and certainly not with the visual f/x abomination Speed Racer. The recent Cloud Atlas was their closest effort, a thoughtful, engaging but ultimately overreaching film based on a twisty book by David Mitchell. Into this troubled oeuvre comes their latest movie, Jupiter Ascending, a…Read More

Review: Lucy

There’s a certain story arc that just about every Luc Besson film has in common, a theme likely inspired by Hitchcock, of the “everyman” caught up in events far beyond their understanding. Even the earliest Hitch works like The 29 Steps explore this theme to great effect. It works well because we then quickly identify with the protagonist and yearn to see them succeed and overcome the challenges that they encounter on their quest for the mythic…Read More

Commentary: Why Don’t Movie Heroes Use Disguises?

I’m watching the 1996 film Chain Reaction, starring a young Keanu Reeves and while it’s not too bad as an actioner, there’s a trope that appears in the film that drives me crazy. What’s worse, it happens over and over again in even otherwise decent films: the hero’s in trouble, their photo shows up on TV, and they run, propelling the story forward. And then won’t adopt even the most meager disguise. What the deuce?Read More