Category: Blockbuster

“Death on the Nile”

7.9

At first, I honestly thought I had walked into and sat in the wrong movie theater. First, we start out in World War 1, then move on to Dirty Dancing… Heavy on the dirty. I mean, I know it’s Armie Hammer, but damn.

I’ll watch anything that has Gal Gadot in it, so of course, my butt was in a seat for this whodunnit. The gist of it is if you like “Murder on the Orient Express,” you’ll like this. There are many of the same tropes, but just enough differentiation to keep you intrigued as each new clue is uncovered and suspect eliminated, either figuratively or literally. We get the origin story of Poirot’s mustache that no one asked for but gives his character an incredible boost of depth and complexity that helps him become someone you actually root for by the end of the film. I called the ending as the movie was getting started, but I thoroughly enjoyed the wild ride to the climactic conclusion. Well done “Clue” spin-off in yet another exotic locale.

“The Matrix: Resurrection”

6.8

If you liked the original, you’ll like this one.

I opted to catch this on HBO Max, and don’t feel like I missed much story-wise. Ideally, the spectacle would have been nice on an IMAX screen, but the overall impact would have been about the same. I felt like the runtime moved in bullet time, and the story was a fairly lazy rehash of the original, with updated special effects to distract you from this fact. Unfortunately for the movie, it doesn’t keep the narrative movement consistent enough to distract the viewer from this fact for very long. In a year full of rebooting franchises, this one seemed the least needed, and most lazily done I’ve seen in a long while.

“Eternals”

6.5

Let’s just say that I’m not heartbroken that I waited for this to come out on Disney+. That about sums it up.

The most by the numbers Marvel film I’ve seen in a long time. Add that to the insane runtime and too many characters to both introduce and keep track of, and it falls kind of flat. This had the hype factor for me of one of the Disney+ add-on shows when it comes to the MCU.

“Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

8.1

Part Batman. Part Bruce Lee’s “Game of Death.” Part Black Panther… this was much better than expected for an MCU installment about a hero I had never heard of. The eastern influence on this story, from the journey of our main character to assume his family’s crest and a curse to the soundtrack, it’s a welcomed change of pace for Marvel. The action is off the charts good. The fighting is even somewhat original. This was a breath of fresh air in this stage of the maturing Marvel Cinematic Universe. The set pieces in this one reminded me of the best of “Avatar.”

Ignore the CGI cluster that is the Marvel third act, and enjoy this strong entry into the post-infinity Marvel saga.