Author: Parker Jardine

“Kong: Skull Island”: A fun guilty-pleasure

The MonsterVerse was reborn in 2014 with the release of Godzilla, and if all goes according to plan, the giant reptile will be duking it out with King Kong in a few years. However, a showdown of such magnitude first requires an origin story of the mountainous primate. Hence Kong: Skull Island. Traveling across the South Pacific, a group of soldiers, scientists, filmmakers and photographers explore an uncharted island. Led by acclaimed tracker James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) and Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), they quickly learn the island is dominated by super-sized creatures. King of them all is the colossal ape named Kong. Separating itself from its predecessors, this incarnation focuses less on the romantic relationship of Kong and the beautiful blonde (Brie Larson) and more on the mutual understanding between him and the humans. Unlike Godzilla, it has multiple scenes with its main monster, each of which are jam-packed with action. Other monster films––such as Jaws and Jurassic Park––are memorable because of the monsters and characters. Kong: Skull Island, on the other hand, will only be remembered for its monsters. Although the cast is made up of great actors, every character is boring, lacks development and feels like their only purpose is to be thrown around by Kong. Additionally, characters’ motivations are hard to believe and their stale humor exhausts itself quickly. In spite of the...

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“Beauty and the Beast”: Elegant, enchanting, magical

Disney set a high standard for its live action adaptations after the remakes of The Jungle Book and Pete’s Dragon. Yet with Beauty and the Beast, it surpasses its merit once again and adds another blockbuster to its library of successes. A live action remake of Disney’s 1991 animated classic, which is an adaptation itself of a French fairytale, Beauty and the Beast tells the story of a selfish prince who is cursed as a Beast (Dan Stevens) and his servants who are transformed into household items. Until the Beast is able to love, all are doomed to remain...

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“Manchester by the Sea”: Touching yet underwhelming

Manchester by the Sea has been nominated 227 times for various awards, holds a 96 percent rating and won two Oscars. As a result, I went into the movie with high expectations. Although I ended up being slightly underwhelmed by it, I still consider it a great movie. Written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea is an unconventional melodrama in which Casey Affleck plays the depressed and unsociable Lee Chandler. After being informed that his brother, Joe (Kevin Chandler), has passed away, he returns to his hometown of Manchester to care for his nephew, Patrick (Lucas...

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“Arrival”: Intellectual, subtle, impactful

Science fiction movies full of guns and explosions are admittedly not my favorite. However, when a science fiction film based on intellect is released, I’m all eyes and ears. Ergo, when Arrival hit theaters and I heard it is a movie that makes viewers think, I was beyond excited. Written by Eric Heisserer and directed by Denis Villeneuve, Arrival––based on Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang––shows how human civilization reacts when twelve extraterrestrial ships land on Earth. Renowned linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) go to a military base near one of the...

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“The Autopsy of Jane Doe”: Nostalgic, chilling, gruesome

When it comes to the horror genre, I am a huge proponent for the classics. From The Exorcist and Halloween to Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, I generally hold horror movies made in the 1970s and 1980s as the standard for new films in the genre. Consequently, when I watched the trailer for The Autopsy of Jane Doe and saw several aspects that are reminiscent of earlier blockbusters, I knew I was in for a treat. A gut-wrenching thriller written by Ian Goldberg and Richard Naing and directed by André Øvredal, The Autopsy of Jane Doe...

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