March 4, 2017

REVIEWS: Logan, Beauty and the Beast, Kong: Skull Island, Before I Fall, and Lavender

Logan: Logan is rumored to be the last Wolverine movie that we’ll see from Hugh Jackman. Lucky for fans, it’s also the very best.

Beauty and the Beast:
I marvel that Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos are awarded the only screenwriting credits when about 80% of “Beauty and Beast”s dialogue is dedicatedly plucked from Linda Woolverton’s 1991 script. How do I know? Because having watching the animated version so many times throughout my life that I’ve lost track, I have its every moment engraved on my very soul.

Kong: Skull Island: Throughout the film, Vogt-Roberts touches on requisite imagery of the King Kong franchise, like Kong swiping at airborne vehicles, and a beautiful blonde be lifted in the beast’s big, coal-black palm. But the dynamic director carves his own creation with a playful post-modern adventure that combines the immersiveness of video games with the absurdity of “Indiana Jones” action, the earnest drama of war movies, and the unchecked whimsy of John C. Reilly. He even adds a dusting of unexpected Easter Eggs with nods to Jurassic Park (Jackson sneering, “hold onto your butts”) and Adult Swim’s Tim and Eric Awesome Show (Reilly wearing a jacket emblazoned with Steve Brule’s motto “For your health!). It’s a stew of eccentric influences that makes for an odd but delicious cinematic experience.

Before I Fall: This movie is obliviously callous and vexingly vapid, delivering a story of a conceited girl who somehow makes a journey about learning to treat others with respect and care into being all about her.

Lavender: Beyond its unsettling intro, it steadily becomes a middling thriller.

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