Reviewed by A.D. Beal
Kong: Skull Island
It’s common nowadays that a big budget blockbuster is given to a director that has had only one small indie feature to their name. Skull Island is one of the best examples of that trend in recent memory, as Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings Of Summer) delivers greatly in his sophomore effort. He manages to get great performances out of his cast (lead by Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L Jackson) like he’s been directing films for years. And if you just want to see some big monster battles, Kong delivers on that too, with special mentions going to the Helicopters VS Kong scene and final battle scene. Most of all, it manages to get me excited for the upcoming MonsterVerse (that will continue in 2019 with Godzilla: King Of The Monsters and 2020 with Kong VS Godzilla).
After 17 years, both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart end their runs as Wolverine and Professor X in the X-Men film series. And this is the best way to go out. The two give some of the best performances of their careers, and are joined by Boyd Holbrook and Dafne Keen, the later of which gives one of the best performances by a child actor that I’ve seen. This is also a movie that earns its R rating (you can tell immediately in the opening scene) and uses it perfectly.
The Lego Batman Movie
The Lego Batman Movie may not reach the heights of The Lego Movie, but it sure does come close. Will Arnett once again gets a ton of laughs as Batman. The supporting cast also is great, especially Zach Galifianakis as The Joker. And of course, the CG perfectly matches the actual lego sets. The Lego Movie series has a great future.
It’s always interesting to see someone known for a specific type of genre in Film/TV try another. Comedian Jordan Peele (Key & Peele) not only makes a great directorial debut, but also a fantastic horror film. It’s the rare modern studio horror film that builds suspense instead of using continuous jump scares. And it’s always nice to see a horror film with commentary snuck in.