Life (2017) Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds – Movie Review

This one puts the action on the International Space Station, whose six-person crew have just discovered a single-cell organism, the very first evidence of life outside of Earth, within one of the soil samples they’ve taken from Mars.

Powers that be at home want them to do some testing on Calvin, as they’ve dubbed it, before giving the “all clear’ to bring down to a terrestrial lab. Study they do, as Calvin begins to flourish in his new environment, grown far beyond its single-cell existence. However, like the humans on board, it needs oxygen and food to survive, and to eliminate all potential threats, which means that Calvin takes a feed-and-fight approach to any other creatures that might encroach on its new home on board the space station. Meanwhile, the astronauts and scientists do everything in their power to quarantine Calvin, especially in making sure that the deadly entity does not have a chance to reach Earth.

Beauty and the Beast (2017) Emma Watson – Movie Review

The story involves a lovely and fiercely independent girl named Belle, who lives with her widower inventor father in a small provincial French village. She’d rather pursue her own path, which brings consternation to the local narcissistic he-man, Gaston, who intends to marry Belle because she’s the prettiest girl in town. After Maurice gets lost in the thick and ominous woods, Belle goes out to find him, discovering his whereabouts in a secluded castle run by The Beast, who has her father imprisoned for petty theft, and with whom Belle swaps places in captivity. The castle is enchanted, as evidenced by the fact that most household objects speak and talk, the victims of a curse brought upon the beast when in original human form by a sorceress who found him most unkind. Beast and company may return to their former selves, but only if he finds a love that loves him in return, and Belle may be the last option left before the curse becomes permanent.

Donald Cried (2016) Kris Avedisian – Movie Review

After his grandmother passes away, late-30s New York financier Peter reluctantly returns to his home town in Warwick, Rhode Island, for the first time in about two decades, to tidy up her estate. Unfortunately, he inadvertently loses his wallet en route, causing him to seek out his old high school friend Donald for a few bucks, though he hasn’t been in contact in about as long as he bailed on his past. While Peter has matured to the point where he virtually disowns the metal-head delinquent he once was, Donald has yet to move on, perpetually stuck reliving the only time in his life when he felt genuinely happy, or so he imagines. While Peter just wants to get out of town as soon as possible, getting money out of Donald proves a challenge, partially because Donald is also broke, and partially because Donald, desperately trying to connect with his old friend since they parted, wants to keep hanging out and relive glory days with the last true friend he had.

Kong: Skull Island (2017) Brie Larson – Movie Review

After an introductory sequence set during World War II to introduce the massive ape, Kong, and the island he resides on, we spring ahead to 1973, where we find the United States’ government, in the waning days of their involvement in Vietnam, planning an exploration of the previously uncharted island in the South Pacific perpetually under storm clouds, hoping to lay claim there before the Russians get there first. Kong is there and greets the military choppers in the manner you’d expect, i.e. he destroys them outright. Those that survive the onslaught find that the island is full of other creatures even more menacing than Kong, especially the “skullcrawlers” (as long-surviving WWII pilot Hank Marlow calls them), who lurk like carnivorous, two-legged dinosaurs around the island consuming every creature in sight.

I Am Not Your Negro (2016) James Baldwin – Movie Review

Raoul Peck’s Academy Award-nominated documentary on famed author James Baldwin, whose unfinished manuscript for a proposed memoir on the deaths of several Civil Rights giants, tentatively entitled, “Remember This House”, provides the basis for the commentary about his experiences as an African-American in a country that continuously seems to not deal with its overbearing racism head on.

Logan (2017) Hugh Jackman – Movie Reviews

Set in the year 2029, we find a world where there are no newly born mutants, and the ones that did exist have been all but completely wiped out. Spirit broken, body beaten and losing its ability to quickly heal, and with a sense of self-loathing to the point where suicide seems an increasingly attractive option, Logan finds himself working as a limousine driver, trying to scrape together enough funds to help nonagenarian Professor Charles Xavier, who he has stashed in an isolated facility in Mexico, away from the general population due the the fact that Professor X, without his meds to corral his psychic abilities, loses control of his mutant powers and lashes out in seismic burst from his seizures. During this time, Logan is introduced to a young girl named Laura, an escapee from a mutant-manufacturing lab who, astonishingly, seems to have identical powers to the Wolverine. Hitting the road, the trip seek to escape those who are out to take them down, while also looking for a mythical mutant sanctuary called ‘Eden’.