Terminator Salvation (2009)

Man vs. machine, with the women relegated to giving tearful goodbye kisses. Kate’s pregnant but no one cares, Blair’s action is limited to the dumb prisoner break-out that just circles back to a conclusion that could’ve been arrived at a minute after Marcus’ arrival if the men just had a damn conversation. The climax is a mess even without CGI Arnold. Functional enough as an action-thriller but with bad moments that drag it down and overshadow its better ones (see Marcus’ Skynet self-discovery).

Ocean’s Eight (2018)


Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s yearly Met Gala. (IMDb)
A great cast of characters led by Bullock’s brazen Debbie (“It’s what I’m good at”), Blanchett’s badass Lou (that strut!), and Hathaway’s hilarious baddie (see her necklace moans) are let down a bit by a less colourful script that too often feels like a tame retread of familiar territory. Still fun though (deflating first twist aside), with some good comedy especially in the post-heist kerfuffle carried by Corden’s earnest insurance agent (“You’ve got two of those!”). Great soundtrack too.
6.5/10 (Alright)

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (2013)


A ten-year-old cartographer secretly leaves his family’s ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother and travels across the country aboard a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute. (IMDb)

Quirkily creative storytelling (namely, T.S.’ charming mix of childlike and brilliant science-laden narration; the imaginative camerawork and visual aids–see his suitcase packing, in-screen shots) and vividly coloured cinematography present a compelling tale part tragic Americana family portrait, part indie road trip fare (the weakest act of the three with a couple unintentionally creepy characters) and part surreal and macabre vision of mass media manipulation. A fresh-feeling film well-acted.

7.5/10 (Really Good)