Isle of Dogs

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I really do, but just not this movie.

C

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Blockers

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A friend asked once why I was against premarital sex. I told her that as a man I had no problems with it, or any of the plethora of pleasure seeking activities so in vogue nowadays. There is no reason why people should not be allowed to imbibe their hearts desire, whatever it may be.
However, I continued, as a Christian I cannot agree with it because disagreement with the Word of God is akin to being disobedient to Him. I cannot indulge in the desires of my heart because my heart is wicked, and I defer to the better judgement of the Almighty when He said to drop everything I wanted, take up the burden of the cross and follow Him.

C

Chappaquiddick

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When electing officials to public office, how do you measure integrity? There are two candidates in play. One of them has been unfaithful to their spouse, and it has become common knowledge. The other let a woman to drown and die, but nobody knows.

A vote for candidate one is an implicit vote on marital infidelity. A vote for candidate two seems, on the surface, the better choice, but now you have given the keys to the city to a murderer. Is cheating worse than being a coward? If both candidates are liars, who lies more often? The questions this produces can be never ending.

When talking about integrity and politics we should be careful not to fall into the trap of surface level discussions, and consider that public officials are rarely the ideal of the man and women we should be aspiring to become.

B-

A Quiet Place

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If Hollywood is to be trusted, planet Earth is the most coveted real estate in the universe. The last decade alone has seen aliens invade it, try to subjugate it or blow it up. This gets tiring after the umpteenth iteration of watching skyscrapers tumble and unnamed pedestrians fleeing for their lives; life ceases to matter, so disposable it has been shown to be.

A Quiet Place is not one of those movies. Like the recent Annihilation, by shrouding the Apocalypse in unknowns it generates the type of interest in the destruction caused by aliens that other flicks like to pretend they do. “It`s Sound!”, reads a newspaper headline. It is a scary and ominous a headline as has ever been printed; one can easily imagine the horror of mankind upon such realization. And then the movie progresses, and one does not even have to imagine it anymore; you feel it.

A-

Paul, Apostle of Christ

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As Gospel, Paul, Apostle of Christ is beautifully effective. It conveys the final days of one of the New Testament`s most important figures with the appropriate solemnity and adherence to the written recordings of the man. It illustrates the core of Christianity and quotes Scripture in less blatant a manner than many of its counterparts. It would not be out of place playing in front of a congregation on any given Sunday, a message on the importance on being humble in spirit and magnanimous in love.

As cinema, Paul, Apostle of Christ suffers from the flaws that ail these type of movies. The lighting is very professional, and so is the framing. The flashback sequences in particular are very competently shot. However, it is not a very exciting movie. I would even go as far as to call it a bit boring, which is too bad considering the movie has three different story lines going, one of them set in the past and two in the now.

Yet compared to past offerings, this may be a sign that the Christian genre may be finally maturing. If it continues to display faith as the challenging leap it is, and continues to recognize that men and women of the Lord are allowed to question the madness of this world, the Christian genre may finally appeal to those who are most in need of its message.

C+

Ready Player One

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That Steven Spielberg can’t resist inserting gross sentimentality in his pictures is common knowledge. Even The Post, with a subject matter that is very hard to romanticize, ended on a note that was complicit with the audience’s knowledge of events as to make them laugh or wink with recognition.
On the rare instances when the master subdues his desires to move us, to make us cry or laugh, he ends up with some of the finest pictures in any given year (see: Munich, Schindler’s List, Minority Report). And when he doesn’t, well he still is probably one of the greatest living directors, but I am never as invested as he wants me to be.

The story and setting and characters of Ready Player One, with its emphasis on nostalgia and romance, demand an author with Spielberg’s heart and man, does he deliver. I imagine the thrill he must have experienced when working on this project; when he started working in the film industry nothing of what is now on screen was possible. And now he’s crafting planets called Doom, where characters based on everything you can imagine brawl, and he’s recreating the Overlook hotel with a thrilling twist, and he’s being as romantic as ever, and damn it if it does not feel wonderful.

Here is a man that holds so much joy for the experience of life that he’s been sharing it with the rest of the world since the inception of his career. The most romantic of the legendary film directors, Steven Spielberg has infused in Ready Player One his thrill for life, his ever hopeful view for a happier, if not better, existence in a world that is going to hell.

B+

Midnight Sun

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There’s been an unexpected downside to using MoviePass. Where before I watched movies that I had written down in my list, usually via streaming, I now watch movies on the big screen that I have no interest in seeing besides them being free. This had led to a higher intake of crappy movies, like the pointless and juvenile in its view of death as the most virtuous form of romance, Midnight Sun.

C

Pacific Rim Uprising

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This pathetic attempt at thrills will not soon leave my mind because it features a line of dialogue so stupidly lazy that you wonder when the devil will come to collect the souls of the screenwriters responsible for it.

“All the people in the city are safe in underground bunkers, so go ahead and destroy all the buildings”, somebody actually says at one point. The city in question is Tokyo, Japan.

D

Tomb Raider

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Alicia Vikander`s acting prowess is so monumental that it doesn’t care about corny lines like “This wasn’t meant to keep people out. It was to keep people in”. She’s such a talented performer that it doesn’t matter if everything around her crumbles on account of too much stupidity. She possesses such a gift that it barely matters if there are no other characters beside her except archetypes.

Of course all of that does matter to me, as I prefer quality movies over lame ones, but it’s still worthy of admiration.

C