Jim Erickson

Movie reviewer

Jim Erickson has been KMUW's film reviewer since 1974. He came to Wichita State University in 1964 from the University of Texas in Austin. He taught narrative in literature and film from 1966 until his retirement in 1997. His favorite film is Citizen Kane.

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Everybody Wants Some is the only movie I can think of that reminded me of My Dinner With Andre, from back in 1981, in which Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory sat down to dinner in the first shots and didn't get up until almost two hours later, after accomplishing nothing but meandering chatter--they didn't even eat their dinner. In Everybody Wants Some, a gaggle of college baseball players and other college students report to campus a few days before classes start and squander a little over two hours of screen time accomplishing even less.

In the first place, The Huntsman: Winter's War, which is supposed to be some kind of sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman, which had Kristen Stewart as Snow White, has neither Kristen Stewart nor anybody else as Snow White, whose birth is announced at the very end of the movie. It also kills off just about anybody who might have a role in the real story of Snow White, so the creators of this strange trilogy are going to have to create a whole new cast for the third movie in order to get to the Snow White story at all.

Criminal starts out with a premise strongly suggestive of a horror movie, progresses with fairly believable developments like a mystery story, and concludes with a sudden outburst of violence like an action thriller. The progression is not particularly illogical, but it is misleading, and it may leave everybody with a feeling of having been served satisfaction at one point or another, but very few being happy with the movie as whole.

As much as I could figure it out, Midnight Special is a fascinating movie full of suspense and mystery, a sort of challenging brain teaser that I'm willing to risk spoilers in my review of because I'm not at all sure my interpretation is right. You may want to pass this review up if you think you're going to see Midnight Special, but it might give you a bit of a head start.

The new drone warfare thriller Eye in the Sky is not only a first-rate suspenser but almost a police procedural about the use of drones in assassination attempts, with big drones the size of small airplanes, little drones the size of birds, and tiny drones the size of junebugs. 

You might be afraid a story about a seventy-year-old woman who develops yearning eyes toward a young man of maybe thirty would inevitable be either romantically sentimental or cynically satiric, but Hello, My Name is Doris is neither one; it's serious but somehow cheerful made by people who like people and think life is worthwhile despite the ways people act occasionally.

There's a little mystery about The Young Messiah that suggests to me that there were problems during production.

10 Cloverfield Lane ​is a very good and highly unusual movie that I can't say much about because it is so full of mysteries and twists and turns of plot and even shifts genre between mystery and horror that almost anything I say is a spoiler, including this opening sentence.

Frank Masi - © 2015 PARAMOUNT PICTURES

Toward the end of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Tina Fey asks a question to which she gets, and apparently expects, no answer: Do the patients in the Afghanistan hospital ever get well? And a little later, a victim of an improvised explosive device insists that nobody is really responsible for anything because nobody has any real control over anything that happens anyway.

The​ Wichita Eagle described both Triple 9 and Gods of Egypt as incoherent and confusing, so I decided to try appreciating them for their individual scenes without concerning myself with whether they made sense as whole movies; this is the way I  suspect we are supposed to appreciate a lot of movies these days. Triple 9 defeated me on all grounds, but I don't understand the objections to Gods of Egypt.

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