REVIEW: Kong: Skull Island

Image: Warner Bros.

Chris Luckett

There were many things working against Kong: Skull Island, but the biggest was the simple fact it’s the fourth telling of an incredibly iconic story. Does the world really need another telling of King Kong? Particularly just a dozen years after Peter Jackson already reintroduced the mammoth monkey to the CGI generation, is there anything new to be done with the gigantic gorilla?

Absolutely, it turns out. The truly reimagined Kong: Skull Island somehow finds a whole new way to tell a story most already know too well, subverting almost each expectation in turn and breathing new life into Merian C. Cooper’s behemoth creation.

Continue reading

REVIEW: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Chris Luckett

One of the most fascinating characters on the J.J. Abrams-produced series Lost was Desmond Hume, a man who had spent a 3-year portion of his life living underground in a bunker filled with ‘60s technology, hoodwinked by a man who convinced Desmond he’d saved him from a epidemic and that to leave would be to expose himself to a deadly plague. The two-hour episode that showed his whole ordeal in flashback is considered by many to be not just one of the best episodes of the show but of modern broadcast television.

The fact that J.J. Abrams wasn’t involved in the creation of 10 Cloverfield Lane (which was originally titled The Cellar, until Abrams changed the title to juxtapose it with his 2008 monster movie, Cloverfield) makes this a fascinating case of full-circle art, as the movie is, for the most part, that very same two-hour episode of Lost. But while Lost had to keep itself open to more seasons of possibilities, 10 Cloverfield Lane is free to aim for the sky and reach as high as they dare. Continue reading

REVIEW: The Monuments Men

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Photo: Columbia Pictures

Chris Luckett

As a director, George Clooney tends to alternate between making alright movies and making excellent movies. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind was okay, but Good Night, and Good Luck was fantastic. Leatherheads was fine, but The Ides of March was terrific. Unfortunately, the pendulum’s swung back toward just good with his fifth movie, The Monuments Men.