Enemy (Denis Villeneuve – 2013) A-

It’s a moody strange and captivating movie. Some parts make sense some parts are utterly insane. It’s one of those that get you going to the interwebs looking for “theories” and explanations. I read a few and some are very out there others make some sense and are in sync with the sense I could make out of it after seeing it a couple of times. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Adam, a university professor. He is dating a pretty blond and seems introverted and maybe depressed. One day he sees himself in a movie. He has a doppelganger who is a C-list actor. Naturally Adam gets curious and starts tracking him down. Well, he is also married to a pretty blond, and is expecting a baby soon. This guy though, who goes by Anthony, he is more assured, more outgoing. The two meet and they have much more in common than is reasonable for your run of the mill doppelganger. They soon become obsessed with each other. The film is drenched in yellow tones and seems to take place in a sparsely populated Toronto that looks very alien. I have not mentioned the sex club angle or the bizarre spider imagery that pops up leading up to one hell of a final shot that kind of turns everything upside down.

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Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie – 2018) A

It’s just amazing that the 6th entry in a movie franchise that is over 20 years old is so damn good. It might arguably be the best. MI really is the best action movie franchise. This one picks up -sort of- on the trail of the previous film (preposterous plot and all of course) and proceeds to one up it with set piece after set piece of just amazing action, chases and spectacular shots. We also get the full set of characters including Luther (Ving Rhames), Benjy (Simon Pegg) and Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson). I love them all. Cruise is a real action star and he delivers over and over again. Not sure if his on-foot full speed chase is my favorite or his insane high altitude sky dive or maybe the nutty helicopter chase scene …oh hell, I have to watch it again to decide.

Ant-Man and The Wasp (Peyton Reed – 2018) C+

It’s fine, perfectly fine. Rehashes some of the first movie’s tropes but improves others. Evangeline Lilly (Wasp) is given much more room to breath here. It does get a huge knock for weak villain and a side story with some “other villain” (Walton Goggins who I really love usually) that felt shoehorned in and added nothing to anything.

Rififi (Alain Resnais – 1952) A

It is always a pleasure to dive into an old highly regarded movie and discover that, yes, this is a fun great work of art that holds up as opposed to a slog. It’s a minimalist heist movie where 4 guys are plotting to steal some expensive jewelry. We go through the planning phases, learn who they are and deal with the consequences. The crown jewel of this masterpiece is the 15 minute or so totally silent heist. It’s a film I would not mind watching again soon.

Annihilation (Alex Garland – 2018) A

I want more movies like this. It is not perfect but it’s a movie that gets under the skin. It is wrapped in a Sci-fi shell but it is more about loss, grief and self destruction. When the “shimmer” shows up next to the beach somewhere seemingly after a comet crash, the area starts changing and expanding. Several expeditions of military personnel are sent in to investigate the phenomena and none come out. Enter Lena played by Natalie Portman who is a scientist whose husband (Oscar Isaac) was on one of those lost expeditions. Then he shows up at home, then he is horribly sick. When he is taken to a secret military station right outside the shimmer, Lena meets the next group who will be going in lead by Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh). She joins up. This time the expedition is all women. Each one of them has some sort of tragedy in the background…why else would anyone volunteer to go on mission like this? This is all in the first maybe 20 minutes. Then they enter the area and Garland creates a world of amazing beauty, horror and haunting images and sounds. It’s  a film that surely pays to re-watch and I will be doing that soon.