“HOSTILES” // The last assignment for an 1890s Army captain is to risk his and his squad’s lives to see his sworn enemy safely home before he dies. Though the often violent scenes follow an all too familiar narrative, the acting is strong and the fight scenes felt true to life. All of this aside, for me personally it was yet another movie where I spent a lot of the time staring at the pimply bump by Christian Bale’s eye. // Follow @ericbasslovesmovies for more reviews.
“PHANTOM THREAD” // During the 1950s, an English waitress falls for and becomes the muse for the preeminent fashion designer of her day. Despite a twenty year age difference and an oddly close relationship the designer shares with his business partner sister, the story blossoms into an unconventional, occasionally mundane, yet nevertheless entertaining story about the sometimes dark but always funny things people in a relationship do to each other when they feel rejected. Though the mundane bits were a mild distraction initially, I didn’t realize the point until later. That is, in a relationship, it’s the mundane nature of everyday routines—and the very real-life drama arising from our willingness to embrace it—which makes up the meat of a relationship story. // Follow @ericbasslovesmovies for more reviews
“JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE.” // I didn’t see the first nor did I catch any previews. That said, I found it to be an entertaining ride with cool special effects and a fun concept. The highlight was definitely Jack Black playing the role of a teenage millennial girl. No surprise this overtook Star Wars a couple weekends at the box office; there’s something for everyone. // Follow @ericbasslovesmovies for more reviews.
“JANE” // A British woman without a college degree sets out for Africa only to challenge the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time. Included is over 100 hours of never-before-seen archival footage from National Geographic. Offering an intimate, little-known, portrait of the person behind the scientist, it’s an awesome documentary that fellow nerds and nature lovers should totally eat up. // Follow @ericbasslovesmovies for more reviews.
“INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY” // A psychic is charged with expelling demons from a haunted house only to reveal a two fold twist—the house is the one she grew up in and the demons are more real than anyone might expect. Though horror / suspense movies aren’t really a “go-to” niche for me, I left amazed at how much I enjoyed it. Surprisingly, it’s an allegory with a super obvious lesson and it was great at keeping you on edge in way that may not translate as well on the small screen. All in all, glad we saw it, though I don’t feel the desire to ever see it again. // Follow @ericbasslovesmovies for more reviews.
“THE COMMUTER” // If you could make $100,000 and all you had to do was “one small thing” on your commute home, would you? Such is the hand dealt to the lead character played by Liam Neeson who seems pegged as the guy in Hollywood most likely to play a grieving husband and father under siege. Can his character ever catch a break? 🤷🏻♂️ // Follow @ericbasslovesmovies for more reviews.
“WONDER” // Growing up, my dad always told me: “some of the friends you have in life will likely come and go. The only assurance you can really count on with full faith is the love and support of your family.” Despite being predictable, this movie based on a true story, reminded me that. And, not in a corny way either. // Follow @ericbasslovesmovies for more reviews.
“THE POST” // A newspaper has the opportunity to unveil the truth behind the story the White House across four presidential administrations has been telling to the American people about the Vietnam War. With their jobs and the company at risk, the only one with the balls to stand for truth in such a critical moment turned out to be a woman. A gripping, well told account that had me wanting to stand up and cheer a couple times throughout. It was absolutely badass. // Follow @ericbasslovesmovies for more reviews.
“PITCH PERFECT 3” // Obviously a movie that won’t nab any Oscar nominations any time soon. Or ever. But, it’s also a movie that isn’t trying to be more than what it is. What you see is what you get. And, if you’ve seen the previous movies in the series, this one beats them all. // Follow @ericbasslovesmovies for more reviews.
“DOWNSIZING” // A breakthrough in technology presents an opportunity to irreversibly “downsize” to five inches and live in a utopian dream where everything—even the price of things—is relative to the small demands of your size. While it’s a cool premise, there were too many storylines competing, so the movie constantly keeps you wondering in the worst kind of way. Adding insult to injury, it could have ended at an hour and a half, but instead it goes on for forty five more minutes. // Follow @ericbasslovesmovies for more reviews
• “Call Me By Your Name” • A blossoming young man is disoriented by the touch of a first love he never expected nor is fully prepared to embrace because of what it would mean for the life he thought he always wanted. As he attempts to navigate the tryst, the reality behind the illusions of the lived lies around him unravel. Often touching and ultimately heartbreaking, it’s a timeless, haunting story about truth and the freedom that comes when you live it and the love that comes when you share it.
• “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” • Have you ever had a moment in your life where you were so angry that you just said “F*!$ it,” and threw all caution and social mores out the window? For most, the feeling and resulting regrettable actions are temporary. Yet, for the grieving mother who plays the lead, the feeling and audaciously dark (and uncomfortably hilarious) actions became a way of life when she decides to take the law by the balls and demand justice be served for the violent murder of her daughter. The lesson you’re left with is how crippling to a person and those around them when held by the grip of anger. And only when you let that go can you begin to grow. It’s a movie that’s unpredictable, moving, disturbing, and still really freakin hilarious. (Disclaimer: When I say hilarious, it’s of the really dark, super vulgar variety. The kind where you aren’t sure whether it’s ok to laugh. Just know if you go see it that you won’t feel shame if—like me—you were the first one laughing.
• “Molly’s Game” • A cruel twist of fate ruins an Olympic hopeful’s chase for gold and she pivots by running a game of high stakes poker for the elite in the male-dominated-and-controlled worlds of Hollywood, business, and sport. Each character is thoughtfully brought to life with a brilliantly written and perfectly executed screenplay that invites you to explore the headspace of each character shown on screen. Unlike some other movies I’ve seen in the past year, I liked that the story ended where it did with me not wanting it to end sooner or the ending not feeling like one. Also worth mentioning this is based on a true story. 🤯
• “The Shape of Water” • A mute woman and an amphibian ancient god with supernatural powers meet and fall in love during the 50s. With its special blend of live action mixed with stylish fantasy and killer special effects, it’s the kind of movie that gets your imagination running. Most surprising for me was that underneath the sexy veneer lies a rather timely lesson about privilege.
• “The Disaster Artist” • For a movie billed as a comedy, it was hard to tell given the fact that I didn’t even laugh in the first hour. While retracing the real-life making of the cult-classic disasterpiece 'The Room' with a cast featuring James and Dave Franco and Seth Rogan sounds like it’d be funny by nature, even that kind of leading funny man power wasn’t enough to keep my attention. I found the conversations happening around me more entertaining.