Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II. (IMDb)
I appreciated the effort to strip any story fluff or contrived emotions away from the event at hand, and along with the triple-timeline narrative it made for a tightly focused and refreshing approach to the genre, but in the end its lack of exposition on the event’s scope and context (just a title screen wasn’t enough for me) made for a bit of an underwhelming experience, despite the amazing visuals, tense action set pieces, solid acting, and perfectly subtle yet strong character work.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny. (IMDb)
An okay first act (woman saving man as the first big plot point is a highlight amongst the generic child flashback/training scenes) and a messy third act (the surprise villain is unfounded and weakly executed; same goes for WW’s love thing) are held up by a wonder-ful second act in which Diana’s touching mix of compassion, innocence, and magnificent strength breaks through patriarchal bullshit in spectacular fashion (I nearly cried when she said “no” to Steve and leapt out of the trench).
Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. (IMDb)
A patient, layered narrative does a remarkable job at developing our beloved characters (though some arcs are better than others: Rocket, Yondu, and the touching epilogue > the crazy sisters). Add in shiploads of comedy (not all of it lands, but Drax is always a delight) and this sequel’s almost more like a quirky dramedy set in a colourful 80s-tinged space setting than a superhero flick at times (standard “blow it up” climax aside), which is refreshing–as is the more subtly sinister villain.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
When a depressed woman is burglarized, she finds a new sense of purpose by tracking down the thieves alongside her obnoxious neighbor. But they soon find themselves dangerously out of their depth against a pack of degenerate criminals. (IMDb)
A strong yet subtle central character study (the detailed visual storytelling is perfect-see the paralleled grocery store scenes) of the relatable Ruth (with quirky Tony) is brilliantly joined by a blackly comedic and shockingly violent crime drama (with genuinely creepy baddies) excellently edited and scored. Its intriguing underlying discussion of revenge and justice doesn’t wrap up in a satisfying manner though, as exemplified by the too-easy epilogue to the devastatingly bloody climax.