A Magical Ocean Getaway
The new Disney animated film Moana may just be the movie that finally proves once and for all that Dwayne Johnson can do anything. The wrestler-turned-actor has done action well, he’s done comedy well, and now he has added singing a catchy tune in a Disney movie to his resume. Johnson’s performance as the demigod Maui is one of the highlights of this fun adventure of a movie. By hitting the open oceans and exploring Polynesia, Moana ventures where few other animated films have journeyed. The result is an entertaining adventure full of comedy, action, and magic.
A Whole New World
Like Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy before it, Doctor Strange expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe beyond our own world, but it manages to do so without ever physically leaving Earth. The movie introduces the mystic arts to the ever-expanding Marvel franchise and allows its characters to explore different dimensions. The result is a special-effects heavy movie that feels somewhat disconnected from the rest of the MCU at this point, but still manages to entertain. There is a lot going on in Doctor Strange so it is admittedly difficult to take it all in after only one viewing, but it is entertaining enough that future viewings certainly won’t feel like a chore.
War Isn’t Always About Taking Lives
Mel Gibson’s career as a director reached a high point in 1996 when the director took home both the directing and producing Oscars for just his second film, Braveheart. He returned to the director’s chair in 2004 and had a controversial box-office hit with The Passion of the Christ. He followed that up two years later with the lackluster Apocalypto. It was around that time that the star’s off-screen behavior caused a serious fall from grace and he disappeared from the cinema, both in front of and behind the camera. He returned as an actor in 2010 and has been steadily working since. Now he is back in the director’s chair for an incredible true story with Hacksaw Ridge, his first English-language film as a director since Braveheart.
Affleck Cooks the Books
Affleck has proven to be a legitimate three-pronged threat in the movie industry as an actor, a director, and a screenwriter. He has already taken home an Academy Award for his screenwriting and directed another movie to the top prize at the Oscars. He is actor only in his new movie, The Accountant, and as long as people don’t go in with a mind to look for reasons to dislike the movie and its star, they are going to find that what they get is a suspenseful and entertaining action thriller.
Never Quite Reaches a Full Head of Steam
A thriller based on a best-selling novel with the word “girl” in the title, the new film The Girl on the Train is virtually impossible to think about without instantly comparing it to 2014’s Gone Girl. Certainly the filmmakers behind the new movie are hoping that the film finds similar success as its predecessor, which earned its star Rosamund Pike an Oscar nomination. And certainly each of the movie’s three lead female performances warrant consideration, especially Emily Blunt as the titular girl on the train. The rest of the film, however, leaves something to be desired.