Skyscraper- Though frequent compared to Die Hard, which it rips off plentifully, this almost feels more like a disaster movie. It’s derivative as hell, but The Rock is reliably charismatic, and it’s nice to see a female lead who while in trouble, gets to do something useful in the plot instead of being a damsel in distress. Ridiculous in places, even if obviously knowingly, it’s a far cry from the humanized hero of John McClane, but it’s enjoyable enough junk food without delusions about what it is.
Con Air- A gigantic, glossy, high-concept action thriller from Jerry Bruckheimer. The Bruckheimer formula with touches of the Spielberg formula, it mixes brutal and sadistic violence with maudlin sentimentality. As usual, Bruckheimer populates the film with a terrific cast (and Nicolas Cage), lots of one-liners, and enough explosions to satiate the adolescent-minded. A major guilty pleasure of mine.
Pacific Rim- There are several problems with this film. I do not care. At all. I grew up on tokusatsu and Gundam Wing reruns, and this was made for me. Almost literally, it seems. Giant mecha square off against giant monsters. I’m also an avid Guillermo del Toro fan, and seeing an off-kilter art house fantasy filmmaker given $200 million to make a film that combines genres known to 37 people in the United States pleases me beyond what I’m capable of articulating. There are definitely problems-some stilted dialogue, limited characterization-but the film is so wildly visionary, I’m happy to forgive them. A blast.
A Quiet Place- John Krasinski hits out of the park with this high-concept horror thriller. The rare movie that has the goddamn sense to be 90 minutes long, it milks it’s premise about monsters than hunt by sound for all it’s worth, adds in a little solid (if perfunctory) emotional depth, and wows with a lean, mean B-movie style.