Movie Review

Movie reviewer Fletcher Powell shares his opinions on Hollywood's best efforts. Tune in every Thursday for the latest review.

The movie review can also be heard on iTunes. Listen or subscribe here.

Biopics are hard to do well. Even those of us with relatively unexceptional lives would find it laughable to try to condense the whole of our existence into a couple of hours.

As I write these words, Blade Runner 2049 has made all of about $40 million at the box office, which is, so far, a pretty big financial disappointment. There are plenty of theories about why it’s not doing so hot, including the fact that it’s not drawing in much of a female audience at all. But the thing is, I don’t think the movie actually cares how much money it’s making. The studio execs probably do, sure, but if we can take a second and pretend that the movie itself has human thoughts and feelings, I don’t think its goal is to appeal to a wide audience.

It’s fun to see a tennis movie. Even when I was very young in the 1980s, I can remember being able to recognize Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Chrissie Evert, and Martina Navratilova. I knew about Billie Jean King and her 1973 match against Bobby Riggs, but I really had no idea of the spectacle of it, at least as it’s presented in the new movie Battle of the Sexes.

What even counts as success? Is it wealth? Is it fulfilling unbridled ambition? Is it living a life surrounded by those we love? The new movie Brad’s Status forces us to take a hard look at these questions and to ask ourselves what we really value.

It’s been said that there are only two types of stories: “a person goes on a journey” and “a stranger comes to town.” And in director Darren Aronofsky’s new movie mother!, boy howdy, does a stranger come to town.

Movie Review: 'It'

Sep 14, 2017

The humorist John Hodgman teaches us that nostalgia is a toxic impulse. He says the idea that things from our past are better than what we have now fuels the worst in contemporary culture. This doesn’t exactly capture the problems with the new adaptation of Stephen King’s It, but it gets close.

This movie review originally aired on July 20, 2017. The Big Sick was released digitally on Tuesday, September 5 and will be out on Blu-Ray on September 19.

I probably don’t need to tell you that love is hard. But it could be harder.

This review originally aired on June 8, 2017. The movie was just released digitally on August 29, 2017.

A couple of weeks ago, I complained about the length of fight scenes in superhero movies. As if sent by the gods, we now have Wonder Woman, a superhero movie with mercifully short fight scenes and a sensibility unlike maybe any other superhero movie I’ve seen.

Before I say anything about Logan Lucky, I feel like I should disclose my very strong preexisting bias: I am a Steven Soderbergh fanboy. I’ve seen all 28 of the director’s feature films, and a handful of his television shows, and I think he’s one of the most consistently interesting and entertaining directors of the last 30 years.

The awkwardly named Annabelle: Creation is a prequel to a spinoff of the relatively popular 2013 horror movie The Conjuring. And if that doesn’t quite make sense, or you have no idea what The Conjuring is, don’t worry too much; it’s not that important to know before seeing Annabelle: Creation.

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