Thursday, July 19, 2018

What I Watched in June

I truly thought that SOLO (2018) might be the first Star Wars film that I did not see in a theater. I thought I would actually refuse to see it on the grounds that I've not been enjoying most of the recent Star Wars films since roughly 1983 and this one in particular seemed a truly unnecessary film. I found episodes 7 and 8 to be both lackluster, pointless, silly, redundant and poorly constructed. The only good thing that I could say about the more recent Disneyfied version of Star Wars is that ROGUE ONE (2016) was something that I actually enjoyed. So, what the heck, I decided to go see SOLO and boy am I glad I did! Turns out that this is a truly enjoyable film. Possibly the most enjoyable of the recent Star Wars films. It's a fun heist movie with some memorable characters, some nice twists and turns, a pretty decent story and a few surprises that I wasn't expecting. It's not great, it's not going to change anybody's attitude toward these films really but overall this is a pretty darn good little movie. Quite a surprise.

HEREDITARY (2018) is one of the best horror films of the decade. The past few years have been very strong for the genre and this movie deserves to be added to the list of top-rated efforts. I won't discuss things beyond some very general comments as I feel the tale is best discovered cold. What I will say is that the film's performances are astounding with the great Toni Collette taking top honors in a very difficult role. The dark family drama that plays out would fly apart if she was less than brilliant but she anchors the film so well I have trouble picturing anyone else as the character. The second half turn the story takes is smartly handled with only a few subtle hints laying breadcrumbs to the hellish final act. Also, the nerve jangling tone of the entire piece is excellent and something I hope other filmmakers study for future exercises in suspense. This film knows when to withhold information and how to reveal it well. 

After nearly a decade and a half of waiting Brad Bird and crew finally bring us a sequel and it's almost as good as the original. INCREDIBLES 2 (2018) picks up right after the end of the first film with a super-villain battle in the heart of the city making the ban on Supers even more popular. Destitute and depressed, the Parr family are surprised when a pair of wealthy siblings recruit them to engineer a return to the old days of public acceptance of costumed super-heroes. Thus begins a multilayered and clever adventure that is also very funny and exciting. This is how these types of films should always be done. It's a near perfect crowd-pleaser that doesn't insult your intelligence. 


THE SCARECROW OF ROMNEY MARSH (1963) - 8 (rewatch of all three parts) 
ZOMBIE 3 (1988) - 2 (rewatch on Bly-Ray)
SOLO (2018) - 7 (solid if unnecessary Star Wars tale) 
SEPTEMBER STORM (1960) - 5 (OK 3D sunken treasure tale) 
FROZEN ALIVE (1964) - 6 (SF drama) 
HEREDITARY (2018) - 9 (incredible horror film) 
LA LOBA (1965) - 6 (good Mexican werewolf tale) 
INCREDIBLES 2 (2018) - 9 
HAUNTED HONEYMOON (1940) - 7 (Lord Peter Whimsey) 
THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN (1957)- 4 (rewatch) 
THE LIVING COFFIN (1959) - 6 (Mexican horror western) 
THE MONSTER SQUAD (1987) - 8 (rewatch) 
SANTO VS THE VAMPIRE WOMEN (1961) - 7 (Spanish language version!) 
WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST (1959) - 4 (rewatch) 

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