“Ready Player One”

8.4

I’ll admit, I rate this one higher than most. Call me a sucker for Spielberg’s signature wonder set to an Alan Silvestri score. I’ve loved this movie since the first time being blown away seeing it in IMAX. Not only is it one of the most beautifully rendered CGI films I’ve ever seen, but my heart was warmed by the attention to detail as every frame was filled with film references that had me going “No way! That’s ____!!! From ____!!!” almost the entire runtime. Strong story, strong casting, and no shortage of action. Adding to the score, was a soundtrack overflowing with deep cuts you couldn’t help but groove to.

The “Back to the Future” nod in the score gave me chills! It was almost as subtle as the DeLorean and Doc Brown cameo in “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” It’s the little things…

“Memento”

7.3

I’m going to allow this one on the grounds of a maestro honing his skills. An unpolished Nolan time bender. Left me more confused than anything. With an ending that gave me strong “Shutter Island” vibes. Ignorance is bliss, am I right? Solid premise, but a bit clunky in its execution. Little too much jumping for my taste. Took away from the big reveal moments that I felt lost at times, as a viewer.

“Dreamkatcher”

7.1

So if Lyn Shae (the old lady from “Insidious”) is in your movie, you know it’s gonna be a weird time. Still trying to figure this one out. Part cabin fever, part possession movie, part Freddy Krueger? Kid’s creepy as hell, and I would have acted on the weirdness far before anyone in this film sounds the alarm. Again, the imaginary friend turns out to be a bad omen. Shocker. The father’s acting is laughable. Everyone else is good. Thought to be fairly predictable until things get straight up bananas in the finale. The things you find in quarantine on iTunes…

Me, watching this movie:

“The Prestige”

8.5

Rick and Morty led me here… no one could have prepared me for that finale. The master of time bending Christopher Nolan at the height of his powers in this puzzle box of a film he’s now known for. A stunning reveal at every twist and turn. A fantastic cast. Pure showmanship, akin to the magicians in the story. Sit back and wait to be wowed.

“Speed”

7.9

There’s a bomb… on a bus.

Short, sweet, and to the point. Much like this movie. “Speed” walked so “John Wick” could run. The entire cast rocks it in this fast paced (pun intended) thriller. Another man with a phone and taste for revenge who terrorizes society with a sinister plot endangering an aspect of everyday life. Things go fast, and things go boom. Great directing keeps things paced just right, with just the right dash of humor to let off the gas before the next buildup.