| By Nicole Davis |
Life is short. Too short to subject myself to “CHiPs” or “Baywatch” or “The Emoji Movie.” So the not-so-great movies I see are unfortunate surprises. If you haven’t seen these yet, and your taste is similar to mine, you may want to steer clear.
This is appearing on a few “best” lists for the year, and I’m not sure I understand the love. It’s an unarguably creative concept: A woman who’s struggling to get her life together discovers that when she enters one area of a local park, a kaiju proxy for her appears in downtown Seoul, and wreaks havoc if she’s not careful.
It’s a risky premise that I found quite involving at the beginning. She starts getting sober, makes new friends, and is on the road to a better life when about halfway through, the story suddenly takes an ugly turn out of nowhere. I was enjoying the movie right up until that point, and then it lost me completely. Look for more from director Nacho Vigalondo, though, who put out the excellent “Timecrimes” in 2007 and has the potential for greatness.
4. The Little Hours
The trailer made this look like a wacky, anachronistic medieval tale with a lot of funny bits and a boatload of comic actors that I love. Unfortunately, all those bits are in the red-band trailer and everything in between is much more poorly paced and less amusing.
3. Alien Covenant
Michael Fassbender is fantastic in a dual role, and he manages to deliver both poetic declarations and ridiculous double entendres like “You blow, and I’ll do the fingering” with equal aplomb.
The rest of this movie is kind of all over the place, a pastiche of at least three different movies mashed into one. Interesting questions about faith are raised, then abandoned, scientists continue to make foolish choices (although not as outright dumb as in “Prometheus”), and the tiny xenomorph doesn’t look as good as the more-threatening compys from “Jurassic Park” 20 years ago. Fingers crossed that the inevitable follow-up does more justice to the 1979 original.
2. It Comes at Night
I’m a fan of slow cinema when it’s done well. One of the slowest-moving films of the year will be on my top ten list. But this movie inches along painfully, giving very few clues about what disaster has befallen the area (state? country? world?), and containing very few plot developments in its running time.
Along with a lack of plot advancement is a lack of character development. No one is thoroughly established, so no changes are noticeable. There’s maybe one theme. I think. Definitely a mood (grim and anxious). I’m really hoping the upcoming “The Quiet Place” isn’t as similar as the trailer makes it look.
1. A Cure for Wellness
This movie is gorgeously photographed in spots. But sadly, it proves the adage that no good movie is too long, and no bad movie is too short. At two hours and 26 minutes, this movie is at least an hour too long, one plot twist too many, and a waste of good eels.
Dane DeHaan is actually a pretty good casting choice as an unscrupulous businessman sent to retrieve his boss from a health spa in the Alps, just so said boss can take the fall for a company screw-up and possibly do jail time. But the spa is not what it seems, and what it actually is, while interestingly weird, takes far too much time to find out, and too much impotent puttering on DeHaan’s part to be entertaining.