Movie Reviews: Midnight Special


Midnight Special directed by Jeff Nichols

I wanted to believe.

Don’t be fooled by all the damn 4 star reviews on the movie poster. Let’s be honest, if they intentionally make the fine print of where it came from so small you can’t make out if it is from Richard Roeper or the ice cream truck man, doesn’t it really mean anything?

From the director of Mud and Take Shelter, came Midnight Special. From the images of the trailer and the ominous tone of the score, I had some hopes going in. The cast looked especially good, with Zod Michael Shannon starring, along with Kylo Adam Driver and Sam Shepard.

I spent a few days dwelling on what to write about this movie. It kind of harkened back to cheesy 80s sci-fi flicks in a way, but with serious acting and a darker tone. The movie seemed to have a number of gaps of logic in the intergovernmental cooperation to attempt to hunt down the boy, along with the religious cronies who seemed to fill a plot point, but being incompetent enough to do actual long term damage.

In the end, it felt a little like the end of Cocoon or Close Encounters of the Third Kind or ET the last fifteen minutes. Kind of like my review of Interstellar, I would have preferred the movie start with the last fifteen minutes because only then it gets interesting.

The acting was actually pretty good, which makes me disappointed in the film this could have been with a better story. Looking at Michael Shannon’s filmography, it showed he was in 10 films in 2016 showing his is taking the opposite approach to his career that Daniel Day Lewis is which is a shame.

Overall Rating: 5/10 Handcuffs


Movie Reviews: A Hologram for the King


A Hologram for the King directed by Tom Tykwer

What do you get with Tom Hanks wants to go back to the well and recapture lost cinematic glory?

He finds a “fish out of water script” and uses his magic to get it greenlit.

Think about it.

Splash was literally a fish out of water story.

Joe vs the Volcano had him facing … a volcano.

He played a kid who grew overnight in Big and headed for NYC.

In Castaway, he talked to a volleyball on a deserted island.

In Larry Crowne, he was an downsized worker going back to college.

In The Terminal, he was a foreigner stuck in an airport for the entire damn movie.

You see, Tom Hanks believes in this trope. His career is built upon it. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising to see him in the trailer for this film. An American businessman in Saudi Arabia? An eccentric taxi driver? Unknown foreign customs?

I wasn’t exactly there in the theater with a bucket full of popcorn, but I did catch this last weekend at the ol’ Redbox at the grocery store. For $1.50 I was able to see Tom Hanks in his full fish-out-of-water glory and he performed it exactly how I imagined it.

It was unremarkably boring.

If you don’t understand what that means, watch The Terminal, except on mute, and you’ll fully realize this terminology. The movie had a couple entertaining moments, but the message of business guilt and forbidden romance seemed a bit mixed to me.

Overall Rating: 4/10 underwater encounters