Apache at the Movies


I love movies--so in 2008 I began giving recent films seen a quick review & rating.  After spending awhile in "Just Seen" I’ll sort them by grade A-F on each of the following pages.  (Click on any of the following links)

Oh the Drama
Feels like Sci-Fi
Oh the Horror
Keep Me in Suspense
Isn't it Romantic
So-called Comedies
Kid Stuff
Fact not Fiction
Cinema Fantastico (Subtitles)

 

Just Seen



The Founder (2017)  Michael Keaton is without remorse as Ray Kroc, a milkshake mixer salesman who stumbled across a speedy hamburger stand in 1954 and had an epiphany--FRANCHISE.  This nostalgic biopic tries to make him look like a baddie, but I disagree; he saw it's potential and ran with it.  Well, it's unfortunate the McDonald brothers went under after Kroc bought their name--and then built a restaurant across the street from them!  My grade: B
Bridget Jone's Baby (2016)  Attention, Bridget Jones die-hards!  They filmed a third movie just for you.  13 years after the sequel, Jones is still single and still wondering what to do with herself.  But after a couple of impromptu shags with Patrick Dempsey & old flame Colin Firth, discovers she's pregnant.  Who's the daddy?  And who will she marry?  When the minister said "I now pronounce you man & wife--FINALLY"  I knew just how he felt.  My grade: C

Arrival (2016)  When alien spacecraft arrive at various locations about Earth, scientists are dispatched to learn how to communicate with them--but as frustrations mount, and global media report escalating paranoia, violence & threats of war, linguist Amy Adams 'cracks the code'--can she end the madness in time?  An enthralling story, but this is 'thinking man's sci-fi'; unless you're a scientist or Trekkie, may leave you scratching your head.  My grade: B
La La Land (2016)  Emma Stone is an aspiring actress, Ryan Gosling a stubborn jazz pianist when they meet and fall in love--but careers will always come first in this--did they say it was a musical?  Well, it looked that way in the beginning.  I know this won Oscars & praise galore, but I was expecting to be charmed and wasn't.  I enjoyed the splashes of color, but a memorable song & some chemistry between these two would've been nice too.  My grade: C

Doctor Strange (2016)  In the pursuit of non-Western medicine after a car accident ends his career as a neurosurgeon, Dr.Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) discovers a mystical realm that protects our world.  It's a somewhat rushed introduction to Marvel Comic's wizard, but razzle dazzle spells?  A magical cloak?  Astral projection?  The bending of time and space?  Mads Mikkelsen as the baddie?  Where do I sign?  My grade: B

Moana (2016)  Set in "ancient times", the daughter of a Polynesian chief goes on a perilous quest to return the heart-stone to the mythical island Te Fiti--but first she must enlist the help of Maui (Dwayne Johnson), the demigod who stole it a thousand years ago.  This is Disney at their best; wonderful characters brought to life (love the grandma), great songs, a wildly imaginative story and stunning imagery.  There's a lot of magic here.  My grade: A

The Similars (2016)  8 people are stranded in a grungy bus depot, waiting out a storm for a bus to Mexico City.  It's an anxiety-ridden, wailing lot--so when one of their faces begin to change...and then another... kill him!  Kill yourself!  Am I supposed to take this seriously?  Surely this is a Twilight Zoney satire, down Mexico way... si or no, it was mucho El Stupido. (Mexican)  My grade: D

Tower (2016)  On Aug 1, 1966 Charles Whitman went to the top of the clock tower at the University of Texas and rained gunfire on the people below.  Told by first-hand accounts of students and survivors still with us, via film clips & striking animation of the campus and their '66 selves, the horrors of that day are realized like never before.  I'm not sure why this needed told again, but these people will never forget & neither should we.   My grade: B

For The Love of Spock (2016)  Adam Nimoy paints an extraordinary, love-filled memoriam of his father Leonard Nimoy, the son of a barber who would become an actor, icon & hero to millions. Told with real devotion to both his father & his father's fans, with images and stories never shared before, it's a truly captivating tribute.  I must own this.  My grade: A

Midnight Special (2016)  Michael Shannon & Kirsten Dunst are ex-members of a religious cult, who return to rescue their 8 year old son seen as the cult's savior.  Why is the government in hot pursuit?  Well, for starters the boy speaks in tongues that contain satellite codes... It's a tense little sci-fi spin, that seemed to promise something bigger.  We get some fascinating images, at least.  My grade: B

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)  With her daughter ready for college, and her parents discovering they're not legally married, Nia Vardalos has her hands full--enter her big, loud Greek family to help set things right.  There's nothing here you haven't seen before, and the Greek jokes get old pretty fast, but it was worth watching just to see Nia again. :)  My grade: C


Remember (2016)  Christopher Plummer has dementia, Martin Landau is in a wheelchair & both now live in a nursing home.  But they are Auschwitz survivors too, and Christopher (with the help of Martin's notes) will travel the country, to find the Nazi who murdered their families 60 years ago.  It begins gentle & brave, but this is a quest for revenge, in a way you never expected.  My grade: A

Green Room (2016)  A punk rock band finally land a real gig, for a scary group of skinheads & neo-Nazis.  But when one of them sees too much, a massacre is ordered--complete with guns, knives & pitbulls.  Patrick Stewart is surprisingly chilling, adding credence to this grisly thriller as the tired, sinister property owner.  "Kill them all so we can clean up and go home."  Ulp...  My grade: B


The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)  Following a family tragedy, Paul Rudd becomes a personal caregiver to a dark-humored British boy with muscular dystrophy (Craig Roberts, from 'Submarine'!)  This calls for a road trip, and soon Selena Gomez will join these perverts.  It's predictable from start to finish, and charming & special every minute of the way.  My grade: A


10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)  Michelle awakens from a car accident in an elaborate underground bunker--with John Goodman, who tells her the world as they knew it is gone.  She can't accept this, and as John's behavior becomes more erratic, she must know the truth.  What will she find?  And how did this twisty thriller surprise me given the online spoilers?  Hide in a bunker until you've seen it.  My grade: B

Hello, My Name is Doris (2016)  Sally Field is a sixtysomething office worker who's attracted to the a new guy in her office--who's half her age.  But it's not until her friend (Tyne Daly, jeezus she's terrific) drags her to a motivational speaker that Sally gets to thinking anything is possible.  This dramedy was funnier, sweeter & more honest than I expected, I love you Sally.  My grade: B


The Last Man on the Moon (2016)  12 men walked on the moon; Gene Cernan was the last.  But he was there from the beginning too, now in his twilight years as he revisits his past--Cape Canaveral, the home he shared with his wife then, his capsule at Houston Air & Space Museum.  We're shown home movies & newsreels of these places too, as he ponders his place in history.  He's quiet now, humbled by time, and this was stirring & wonderful.  My grade: A

The Witch (2016)  In 1630 New England, a fiercely devout farmer moves his family to the countryside.  Misfortune comes with them, and as desperate prayers fall on deaf ears, the smallest ones cry of witches and the Devil, and no one is safe from the other.  They are damned, in ways both you and they believe.  What a dark & brilliant vision this was--it stuns, truly.  My grade: A
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