Ted Kennedy’s life and political career become derailed in the aftermath of a fatal car accident in 1969 that claims the life of a young campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne.
Review by Kurt Loder:
“The new movie Chappaquiddick is a political bombshell 50 years delayed. We’ve always had most of the facts of the case, but there was a longtime disinclination to get too exercised about them. However, times have changed, and now the story reads a lot differently. But since the infinitely annoying Kennedy family still has its benighted admirers, director John Curran has wisely taken a straightforward approach to recounting what happened on and after that summer night in 1969 when Senator Ted Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, drove his car into a pond on Chappaquiddick Island, just off Martha’s Vineyard, and then walked away, leaving a 28-year-old woman, Mary Jo Kopechne, to drown (or possibly to asphyxiate, gasping desperately for two hours at an ever-diminishing bubble of air inside the overturned vehicle). There’s no need for partisan exaggeration in this story; the undisputed facts are awful enough.”
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Review!
I was not among those begging for a followup to the wildly successful 2008 Abba musical. But after just a few scenes, all I could say was: Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
“Benny Andersson and Bjrn Ulvaeus of Abba must over the years have considered what they would do if they were asked to sign off on a second iteration of what can only be called the Mamma Mia! movie franchise which first appeared in 2008. Perhaps they thought that, in the words of the song: If I had to do the same again, I would my friend, because quite frankly its a licence to print money.
That first film made me break out in a combination of hives and bubonic plague. And to be honest, this new one does have the original films plotless melange of feelgoodery, an exotically amorphous jellyfish of a film which is periodically zapped with the million-volt shock of a zingingly brilliant Abba tune.
But something in the sheer relentless silliness and uncompromising ridiculousness of this, combined with a new flavour of self-aware comedy, made me smile in spite of myself: there are funny, campy performances from Cher, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters and also Alexa Davies as Walterss younger self, and some very good lines. People are always running absurdly around a Greek island waving their arms in the air like they just dont care and its always sunny, except when gasp! theres a storm and plans for the relaunch of a tourist hotel are briefly and unimportantly derailed. This film reminded me weirdly in its staging of Kenneth Branaghs 90s film version of Much Ado About Nothing, with its golden southern European hues and beaming cast. Theres the same bizarre plot convolutions and holiday-romance departure from reality.
After the first film, I noted that the song Fernando was not included and suggested that next time they should include a hearing-impaired character of that name and someone desperately worried should bang a particular percussion instrument and ask of Fernando a certain impassioned question. In fact, Cher sings Fernando now, and addresses it to a bearded Andy………”
Mission: Impossible Fallout Is the Most Spectacular Action Film in Years
“Tom Cruise takes the title of his Mission: Impossible franchise as a literal challenge. With each successive installment, Cruise attempts to demonstrate that no classic set piece cant be topped and that, no matter his advancing age (56), he can keep ignoring (if not outright fighting) Father Time to pull off ever-greater acts of stuntman insanity, at crazy risk to his personal safety. Thats never more true than with Fallout, his sixth outing as covert agent Ethan Hunt, which reconfirms that his inspired-by-TV endeavor is still the greatest blockbuster saga around, and that hes Hollywoods premiere action-adventure Peter Pan, an actor whoregardless of his spottier track record as of lateis right at home in this world of spies, masks and self-destructing messages. Determined to perpetually raise the bar for both the series and himself, Cruise again proves, with his latest, that both of those seemingly impossible feats is possible.
Fallout is the best action film since Mad Max: Fury Road, and its unique in the big-screen history of Mission: Impossible, in that its the first episode to be helmed by a return directorChristopher McQuarrie, who spearheaded 2015s stellar Rogue Nation. For an undertaking once defined by its shifting personalitythanks to each entry being a stand-alone effort from a distinctive auteur (Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird)the decision to reenlist McQuarrie signifies that Cruise has settled on a signature voice for his series. Not only does McQuarrie deliver the same style of grand, vigorous mayhem that he did before, but working as sole screenwriter, he also turns Fallout into a legitimate sequel to its immediate predecessor, continuing the story he began three years agowhile additionally, in one key respect, referencing Abrams Mission: Impossible III.
The decision to go back to McQuarrie does negate the thrill of discovering a new aesthetic and tone, which up until now has been a Mission: Impossible hallmark. Nonetheless, whats gained is far greatera refinement of McQuarries superb action form. Fallout features more astounding set pieces than can be found in the rest of 2018s summer crop combined, all of which escalate with such mounting electricity that its hard to catch ones breath. The directors stunning widescreen visuals (even more impressive in IMAX, whose outsized format is repeatedly exploited) enhance the magnificence of his scripting and staging, in which initially straightforward scenarios become complicated by a raft of unforeseen events, until the tension is almost too much to bear. In terms of providing a pure adrenalized rush, almost no contemporaries are in its league.
That Cruises Hunt routinely responds to surprising situations with Ill figure it out only amplifies the anxious anticipation of…….”
Skyscraper Review: The Rock Towers Over an Inferno of Cliches
A silly yet watchable action movie sees the worlds most bankable star try to save his family from a building full of fire, terrorists and clunky dialogue
“When the first footage from Skyscraper was launched earlier this year, most online conversation revolved around the staggering incredulity of the trailers money shot: Dwayne The Rock Johnson making an Ethan Hunt-esque leap from a crane into the broken window of a building. Everyone from math professors to meme makers critiqued the physics, and even Johnson snappily responded on Twitter. But for me, the most unlikely element was the inclusion of Johnson himself. How on earth does the wrestler-turned-actor find the time to headline so many damn movies? Does he sleep? Has he undergone a Multiplicity-like experimental cloning procedure?
Because in the last seven months he managed to game a winning $962m worldwide from a belated Jumanji sequel and turn the arcade adaptation Rampage into…….”
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