Terminator: Genisys

If you’re going to reboot a tired franchise mired in complex continuity, you want to go “back to basics.” The creators of Terminator: Genisys figured out a way to do that while upping the ante on confused continuity. In a fraying universe in which time travel has already caused an...

Terminator & T2

Badmouth on Demand: Days ahead of screening Terminator Genisys, I decided to rectify perhaps the most glaring omission in my science fiction background: I would finally watch The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. How did I miss these unavoidable ‘80s giants, especially as a viewer...

Dope

Dope is a delightful, subversive, heartfelt piece of cinema. Inventive, sharp, well-cast and well-directed, and able to balance real-world issues with a fearlessly over-the-top approach. It’s the best movie I’ve seen this year, and it particularly shines for being released on the same day as Pixar’s surprisingly corporate and uninspiring Inside Out. The story: Malcolm, a straight-A geek in Inglewood is facing college applications, with his eyes set on Harvard. Malcolm navigates the poverty, despair, and drug-fueled crime of South Los Angeles by rejecting it entirely: He and his two nerdy friends are obsessed with the...

Inside Out

Inside Out isn’t bad, it’s just not especially good—certainly not by Pixar standards. It feels like a creative studio going through the motions—checking off boxes to put together a story with the proscribed number of thrills, jokes, emotional moments and lovable characters to...

Daredevil (Episodes ...

Perhaps my most telling reaction is that, weeks after finishing the first season, I don’t miss the show. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it while I watched it, but the appealing elements of the show never coalesced into addictive, irresistible entertainment. The scripts are...

Daredevil: Eps 5-8

The first quartet of Daredevil episodes had trouble finding their footing.  The dedication to violence and darkness, both visual and narrative, were in place, but the unspooling of the story seemed uneven, supporting characters Foggy and Karen were more annoying than interesting, and the...

Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland is about finding hope in a creative future, and believing we can build that future, yet the entire 130-minute extravaganza boils down to a protracted fight in which a technological strawman becomes the enemy, excusing all human failing, and is destroyed purely through violence. * * * Tomorrowland Director: Brad Bird Starring: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, Hugh Laurie, Thomas Robinson Review: 3 stars (of five) Tomorrowland fails as a story because it is facile, smug and hypocritical. It blasts society at large for giving up on the future to wallow in negativity and dystopia while ignoring real crises—then...

Avengers: Age of Ult...

Spectacle fatigue cripples Avengers: Age of Ultron. While the film delivers too much of what the audience demands to rate it a complete failure, it cannot be called a good film story.  While it succeeds as a commercial product and in terms of  technical craftsmanship, it fails as...