DIRECTOR: CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
STARRING: MARK RYLANCE, TOM HARDY, ANEURIN BARNARD, JACK LOWDEN, KENNETH BRANAGH, CILLIAN MURPHY, BOBBY LOCKWOOD
Technically, Dunkirk is a fantastically made movie. Director Christopher Nolan, knows how to stage, shoot and craft, a spectacle. From aerial dogfights, to sinking ships, to flames, Nolan captures the intensity of the situation of Dunkirk. However, where the movie ultimately suffers, is in its complete lack of character. Yes, this is war. Yes, there shouldn't be time to get to know people. However, the lack of character here, or story for that matter, make Dunkirk feel hollow. The vast majority of the film, feels like a master filmmaker doing nothing more than showboating what he is capable of, rather than telling a story. For some, this will be sufficient enough. With a little more connection, for me, Dunkirk would probably have made a bigger impact. Hans Zimmer's often times intrusive scoring, isn't enough to make up for it either. All that said, Dunkirk succeeds for the most part. The dogfight sequences alone, are enough for the price of admission. It's a technical masterpiece of cinema.
TITLE: WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
DIRECTOR: MATT REEVES
STARRING: ANDY SERKIS, WOODY HARRELSON, STEVE ZAHN, KARIN KONOVAL, AMIAH MILLER
Some have called this new Planet of the Apes trilogy of films, among the best trilogies of all time. Having now seen War for the Planet of the Apes, I would have to agree. Every entry in this current saga, has gotten better incrementally. Rise, is a solid spectacle, Dawn, is riveting, and War, is nothing short of superb. Director Matt Reeves, has crafted something with War, that is incredibly special. Anything else that comes after this entry, is going to have a tough time beating the craftsmanship in this film. War for the Planet of the Apes, is incredibly gripping. From the moment the film starts, it has you and never lets you go. Andy Serkis, gives yes, an Oscar worthy performance as Caesar. The emotion that he is able to bring through the motion capture, is both spectacular and heartbreaking. You feel for Caesar in every frame of film. Steve Zahn, is also quite spectacular here, and Woody Harrelson, while one note at times, still manages a great performance. All of the motion capture performers here, are incredible. The evolution of the motion capture technology in War, is astonishing. You can definitely see the advances, as each entry has progressed. War for the Planet of the Apes, is in many ways, daring in its approach. This is a gripping, often times heartbreaking, and emotional drama. In the midst of summer, that's pretty ballsy. Yes, it has its action, but that's not the focus here. War for the Planet of the Apes, is one of the best films of the year, not just of the Apes franchise. Absolutely superb from start to finish.
TITLE: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
DIRECTOR: JON WATTS
STARRING: TOM HOLLAND, MICHAEL KEATON, JACOB BATALON, JON FAVREAU, MARISA TOMEI, ROBERT DOWNEY JR.
There's just enough in Spider-Man: Homecoming to wet the appetites of Marvel fans, who have wanted the character over at Marvel Studios for a while now. The ultimate problem with Homecoming, is that it is essentially an origin story with no origin story. Most of the film gets lost in its meta-John-Hughes-thing, it forgets to be something of value. In fact, nothing of real value happens in the film. Essentially, Homecoming feels like it only exists to tell people that Spider-Man, is friends with The Avengers. And, hey, he can be in those movies too! And, hey, hipster Millennials, it's like a John Hughes movie! Instead, throughout most of the film, Peter Parker is forced to Batman Begins his way through stuff, via a very contradictory method from Tony Stark. Holland, is fine as the character, even if his shtick can get tiresome. Michael Keaton, is owning his role as Adrian Toomes. Vulture is a nice villain, but that's only credit to Keaton, as the character pretty much has one purpose here. And no, it's not to be the bad guy. The film has its moments, and while not on my top list of Spider-Man, nor Marvel entries, it's is fun summer entertainment.
TITLE: BABY DRIVER
DIRECTOR: EDGAR WRIGHT
STARRING: ANSEL ELGORT, KEVIN SPACEY, JON HAMM, JAMIE FOXX, EIZA GONZALEZ
There's no denying the craft in Baby Driver. However, the flick suffers a bit in the first half. It's a weird, uneven pace, where we are supposed to try an connect with the titular character. The problem is his odd quirk, just wasn't enough for me to care about where the film ultimately goes. That being said, Baby Driver is all style over substance. All of these characters are more or less odd quirks, whom we are forced to go on this ride with. In the end, what we are left with is a rousing crime thriller, with a little bit of Fast & Furious flavor sprinkled in for good measure. The story takes a bit of a back seat, and it works here. The soundtrack, and the way music is used, is the real winner in the film. The performances are all pretty solid, with Kevin Spacey, and Jon Hamm, stealing the show. The chemistry between the characters are what sell the weak, and often times cliche'd storytelling here. In the end, the flaws present in the film are pretty much erased, with its slick style. And we are left with a fun time at the movies.