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The Movies of 2019 - Page 3


It Chapter Two
September 6
It Chapter Two
It Chapter Two
September 6
It Chapter Two

As I've said before, I don't actually care for King's original novel, but Andy Muschietti's first It is an incredible adaptation that manages to be a very good horror movie on its own merits. The sequel, though, which aims to tackle the trickier adult half of the story, is a bit less successful. None of this is on the actors, who are all perfectly cast and deliver good, earnest performances. It's more on the story, which recycles old plot threads and refuses to plug the many plot holes created by the titular creature's insistence on sparing the lives of the main characters while killing everybody else indiscriminately. There's some wonky CG de-aging and a ridiculous climactic battle that ends with a whimper, and a few really odd decisions sour some of the film's potential. The idea of making Richie a closeted gay man is a good one, but the film keeps him in the closet instead of letting him come out to his friends in order to lessen It's power over him (which, you know, would have sent a good message, been thematically consistent, and satisfied both emotionally and socially, but I guess it's more important we have the Bill, Bev, and Ben love triangle repeated verbatim, including having to once again clarify the misunderstanding over a stupid poem). It's not a poorly-made flick--and there's actually some good humor thrown in--but it's a big let-down from the predecessor.



Gemini Man
October 11
Gemini Man
Gemini Man
October 11
Gemini Man

I tried really hard to enjoy this movie, but it just wouldn't let me. The plot is painfully predictable, Ang Lee's directing is cringingly over-the-top, the visual effects are frustratingly uneven, and the writing is so ham-fisted Kermit has filed charges against it. There are brief flashes of inspiration, and Will Smith is giving his all. Alas, the movie is just a sloppy mess that is about twenty years too late.



The Addams Family
October 11
The Addams Family
The Addams Family
October 11
The Addams Family

Aside from the studio trying to make a quick buck, why, exactly, was this movie made? Is there an audience out there crying out for more Addam's Family movies, only this time violently crushed into the standard animated movie template? It has a brilliant cast--I'll give it that--and my son was entertained enough to not go running to the bathroom five times during the movie. Other than that, though, I'm struggling to remember anything about it that stuck with me more than five minutes after walking out of the theater. I can't even remember a single decent joke. Utterly disposable and pointless.



Terminator: Dark Fate
November 1
Terminator: Dark Fate
Terminator: Dark Fate
November 1
Terminator: Dark Fate

(Full Review)

Let's not beat this dead horse of a franchise any further. This movie isn't as terrible as its most vocal critics pronounce, but it's not a good movie either. It's a poorly conceived, badly written, and unenthusiastic bit of fan fiction that was somehow turned into a big budget Hollywood film, even though the last Terminator film didn't do well anywhere outside of China. Some of the action scenes are good and most of the acting is fine (aside from the "new John," who is awful), but it comes across as a movie that is actually trying to insult and infuriate fans of the franchise it wants to be a part of. Please, Hollywood, for the love of all that is holy, let this franchise die.



Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
December 20
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
December 20
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

As with Avengers: Endgame, I give the filmmakers credit for the impossible task they had before them in tying together such an enormous and expansive narrative into a satisfying conclusion, but I have to admit there are problems. The first hour or so of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is pretty messy, defined by a break-neck pace that throws a lot of new (and potentially unnecessary) lore in the audience's face to set the stage for the rest of the movie. It moves from location to location and MacGuffin to MacGuffin so quickly, you never have time to catch your breath or notice the gaping plot holes it jumps over. The film even cuts away from jokes before you can laugh. There's a ton of fan service thrown in, but there's no room for thematic depth, natural character progression, or emotional poignancy until the final act. That final act, though, is amazing, culminating in one of the series' best climactic battles. I thoroughly adore the film as a fan and could wax poetic about the things it does right, but it's ultimately the weakest entry of the new trilogy.



What do you think? Are my curmudgeonly reviews fair? If you disagree, I don't hold it against you, especially if you think a movie deserves a higher grade than I've given it. When I give a negative review, I'd rather be wrong than right, and I'm definitely not here to tell you you're wrong if you like something more than I do. Like away, and do it proudly! Tell me about it in the comments. If you like something less than me, though, feel free to keep it to yourself. I'm not interested in being convinced to like anything less than I already do; there's enough negativity out there already.

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-e. magill 12/26/2019


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SPECIAL THANKS TO MY PATRONS:
Diane Magill-Davis
John Burrill
Warren Davis

Become a Patron today!
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