Hell or High Water is more than it appears to be at first glance. The simple story of two brothers robbing banks while literally being pursued by a cowboy (Jeff Bridges) and an Indian (Gil Birmingham) through small Texas towns is grounded in complex motivations playing as much on character-driven drama as themes from westerns and heist films which screenwriter Taylor Sheridan and director David Mackenzie use to frame the tale. Shot against the bleak canvas of West Texas (or, to be more accurate, New Mexico standing in for West Texas), Hell or High Water is an engrossing, entertaining, and often amusing, film.
1977’s Pete’s Dragon is a goofy live-action kid’s movie about an orphan who gets into trouble thanks to a clumsy invisible dragon named Elliot. Something around the lines of The Apple Dumpling Gang mashed up with Mary Poppins, it’s a movie I remember from my childhood, but not well. To be honest, the announcement of a remake didn’t really interest me. However, Disney’s entirely new take on the tale proves to be a far more memorable adventure.
Maybe DC should shy away from its major heroes and concentrate on the fringes of the DCU. I don’t know that you should call a $175 million theatrical release with an excessive marketing campaign a B-movie but that’s exactly what Suicide Squad is. Writer/director David Ayer delivers an unapologetically trashy B-movie that, despite its faults, is fun.
1991’s Doc Hollywood is one of Michael J. Fox‘s better feature films that doesn’t involve a time-traveling DeLorean. On his way to Los Angeles to begin a promising career as a plastic surgeon, Dr. Benjamin Stone (Fox) runs into trouble in a small southern town where he’s sentenced by the local judge (Roberts Blossom) to hours of community service at the town’s hospital. Initially resistant to the situation, Stone eventually becomes enamored with the town’s charms – particularly those of the ambulance driver Lou (Julie Warner).
Doc Hollywood is a simple big city vs. small town story that Cars accomplishes with far more flair, but the supporting cast is strong (David Ogden Stiers, Woody Harrelson, Bridget Fonda), and Fox and Warner are good together on-screen providing the chemistry needed to make the story work.
Emma Roberts stars as Venus “Vee” Delmonico, an amalgamation of every secretly-cool high school nerd ever, whose introverted personality is tested when she chooses to sign-up for a super-secret (AKA everyone knows about it) online game of truth or dare known as NERVE.
The other storyline features Superman having more trouble with the super-villains of Gotham City than he expected. Tricked by the Joker (Jason Spisak), Superman accidentally causes a break-out at Arkham Asylum. Even calling on the help of Cyborg (Khary Payton) and Wonder Woman (Grey Griffin), the heroes struggle to stop the chaos eventually allowing Robin (Scott Menville) to show them what crime-fighting in Gotham is all about.
The third time’s the charm. After a lackluster first film and a clusterfuck of a sequel, the rebooted franchise finally gets it right with Star Trek Beyond. No longer awkwardly straddling the original and new continuities, the latest Star Trek film offers a wholly original story and the first really good movie in the Star Trek franchise in 20 years.