Baby Driver

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Phenomenal.

There is literally nothing about this movie that I didn’t love. I saw it three times in the space of four days and cannot wait to own it so I can watch it again whenever I want. If you have not seen it, you should do that right now. Run, don’t walk. And when you do watch it, pay close attention to the music—it is so much more than a soundtrack. In fact, my wonderful friend Cailey, who is incredibly intelligent and well versed in all things Hollywood, told me that she would classify this as a modern musical . . . one where musical numbers are abandoned in favour of a score that is integral to the pacing, the choreography (not the dancing), the gunfire, and even the love story.

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Saga by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples

Saga.StapletonI had no idea what I was going to read for our graphic novel category, but before I even had time to fret about it, the lovely Rosie came to my rescue—she sent me the first volume of Saga through the mail. Snail mail no less!

And I’m going to tell you right now, I’m glad she did.

It’s a strange story about love and family in a universe that’s totally bonkers, but from the first frame it effortlessly transports you to a world that you’re inexplicably fascinated by. Cyborgs with human bodies and computer screens for heads are royalty, alligators are butlers, horns and wings are typical human appendages, bounty hunters have eight legs and no arms or a lie-detecting cat, and ghosts are a secret weapon in an age-old war (and great babysitters). Its universe-so-crazy-you-can’t-help-but-accept-whatever-comes-next aesthetic has garnered more than a few comparisons to Star Wars, and I totally see where they’re coming from.

It’s creative and crazy and violent and sentimental. It’s jam packed with fully realized characters that are neither good nor bad, but who are fighting in accordance to their orders, their moral code, or their desire to be free of a senseless war. Oh, and it’s absolutely beautiful and unexpectedly funny. I can’t wait to get into Volume Two and beyond.

No. 25 on my challenge. Thank you, Rosie!

 

Central Intelligence

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“Then I realized high school was nothing like Sixteen Candles, and I’ll never be like Molly Ringwald.”

The Rock said that. Wearing a unicorn shirt, jorts, and a leather fanny pack.

I’m a certified, card-carrying Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson fan, Kevin Hart is a child-sized party, and the tag line for this movie (Saving the world takes a little hart and a big Johnson) is on point, so I give it five out of seven stars. A perfect rating.

(Holla if you get the reference.)

The Legend of Tarzan

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“A CGI masterpiece.”
—Tori Elliott

Other, less sarcastic, thoughts:

  • Margot Robbie was wonderful in her role as Jane, the Damsel in Distress who refuses to act like a Damsel in Distress.
  • I’m not sure when Samuel L. Jackson became a comic relief actor, but I’m glad he was cast in this movie as such. The film’s few laugh out loud moments were at the hands of his George Washington Williams.
  • Christoph Waltz should only play villains from now on. He’s just so great at portraying soft-spoken, charming, heinous reprobates.
  • Any script that calls for Alexander Skarsgård to remove his shirt is a-okay by me.

I’m glad this reboot focussed more on Tarzan’s return to the jungle rather than rehashing his origin story for the umpteenth time (though the story does reflect on his upbringing through several CGI-heavy flashbacks). And I did ultimately enjoy myself as Mr. Skarsgård ran through the jungle and fought off all manner of man and (CGI) beast. But, I’m fairly certain that somewhere in the annals of literature, radio, film, television and stage history for this character, there lies much better fodder than the “bad-guy-enslaves-African-natives-and-steals-hero’s-wife-to-incite-hero’s-rage-and-ensure-hero’s-capture-and-ultimate-escape” plot for The Legend of Tarzan.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

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This was nothing if not a Michael Bay film, and I unabashedly love Michael Bay films. I also love movies based on true stories, films about heroism, brotherhood, and war, and a lot of action, so this movie got two thumbs way way up from me. Not to mention John Krasinski’s talent and general appearance.

American Ultra

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I’m a little concerned for my taste in movies. Or maybe my expectations were so low that this movie literally could not have been any worse than I thought it would be, therefore making it appear better than it actually is. I mean, it wasn’t amazing (obviously), but I didn’t hate it. In fact, it was about 3.78 times better than I’d expected, so there’s that. It’s bloody, and a bit outrageous, but ultimately not a terrible way to spend a few hours.