The Mummy (1999)


An American serving in the French Foreign Legion on an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Hamunaptra accidentally awakens a mummy that wreaks havoc on him, and his crew. (IMDb)
Cheesy, in some bad ways and some good ways: The opening historical background sequence is just horrendous in its melodrama, dated CGI, and outlandish “Egyptian” costumes, and these things occasionally pop up again, but the over-the-top characters (see Weisz’ awkward British lass, the trigger-happy, bourbon-drinking Americans) and goofy sense of humour (“You probably won’t live through it” *happily* “You really think so?”) combines well with the spooky adventure tale for an overall fun watch.
6.5/10 (Alright)



Uncle Buck (1989)


Bachelor and all round slob, Buck, babysits his brother’s rebellious teenage daughter and her cute younger brother and sister. (IMDb)
Candy is good as always, but aside from Buck’s hilariously loud entrance, he proves to be a pretty solid caregiver, enforcing curfew, keeping the creeps away, and always picking up, dropping off, and standing up for the kids. Laudable, but where’s the fun in that? The comedic formula is messed with here, and its replacement (stern dad/rebellious daughter-esque drama) feels uncalled for and kinda lame. Have Buck mature, but leave it until the end! Let’s see him take the kids to the track first.
6/10 (Mediocre)


Personal Shopper (2016)


A personal shopper in Paris refuses to leave the city until she makes contact with her twin brother who previously died there. Her life becomes more complicated when a mysterious person contacts her via text message. (IMDb)
Stylish, and there are hints of a couple good movies in here (either a chilling psychological character study–see Maureen realizing she took home the jewelry bags–or a moody modern ghost story–see the edge-of-your-seat final scene with a great last line) but there’s also a bad one (see the monotonous texting thriller), and the good ones come and go and never tie together in a clear enough manner to build any manner of suspense. As it is, it’s frustrating and comes off as a tad pretentious.
6/10 (Mediocre)


Black Panther (2018)


T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, rises to the throne in the isolated, technologically advanced African nation, but his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider who was a childhood victim of T’Challa’s father’s mistake. (IMDb)
The people, sets, and costumes of the fascinating Wakanda are a fantastic breath of fresh air, and the supporting characters especially (Nakia, Okoye, Shuri) all beg for further fleshing out. As an action film it worked better with Serkis’ simpler villain (see the awesome South Korea sequence) than Jordan’s more complex one, as the good vs. evil nuances he introduced deserved a slower drama instead of a sudden civil war and typical superhero climax (though the epilogue was of course touching).
7/10 (Good)


Good Time (2017)


After a heist goes awry, a bank robber spends a night trying to free his mentally handicapped brother from being sent to Riker’s Island prison. (IMDb)
Claustrophobic, anxiety-provoking, and just generally discomforting: All negative descriptors, but in this case they’re just a testament to the gripping atmosphere created by the well-crafted gritty thriller script (Ray’s tangential story was the one hiccup), memorable turns and score, and bold camerawork (see the glut of shaky close-ups, birds-eye car shots). All of this is brilliantly bookended by two tear-jerking scenes of innocence that stand in sharp contrast to the grime in the middle.

9/10 (Amazing)

– #6 on my Top 10 Most Underrated Films list


Airplane! (1980)


A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick. (IMDb)
A comedy film in the truest sense of the term: Literally not a scene goes by without a joke or two or three, and I wish I could mention them all: The one-off ones are certainly hilarious (see Kramer talking to no one), as are the random background visual gags (see doing the laundry at the control tower), but it’s the repeated ones that really take the cake (see Striker’s unfortunate seatmates), especially the ones that don’t even start out funny (“Looks like I picked the wrong week…”).
8.5/10 (Amazing)


Stripes (1981)


Two friends who are dissatisfied with their jobs decide to join the army for a bit of fun. (IMDb)
Thanks largely to its tried and true “ragtag team of misfits” trope (gotta love Candy), this has its moments (see the platoon’s unimpressive obstacle course run, unconventional graduation drill routine, conflict with uptight captain), but leads Ramis and Murray’s cocky slacker schtick is annoying more often than funny, and their tangential exploits are the same (their flirtations–not to mention the unbearable mud wrestling scene–reek of misogyny, and the trip to Czechoslovakia was just silly).
5.5/10 (Poor)