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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

#2,290: Suicide Squad

Lights Out - ★★★½☆
ON'T STARTLE THE WITCH!

I think what appeals to me in a horror movie like this is that the movie magic is a little bit closer to the surface. Maybe it's creepy that the little girl is drawing and her paper disappears when she's not looking, but I have as much fun or more knowing it's just some PA leaning in and taking the paper while the camera's not looking.

I was already into this movie's deep and deliberately worrying frame compositions when suddenly, it seemed to me that this movie might have been shot in the same house as The Selling, and from then on I was searching for shots that could prove it.

Pete's Dragon - ★★★☆☆
Never saw the original, didn't really know what this was about, and it only dimly occurred to me during the trailers preceding this movie that we were about to receive a kids' movie.

It felt like a movie from at least 20 years ago, plus fancy dragon. Pete is always doing something so dangerous that it felt as though the movie could end at almost any time. There's a scene about halfway through that is innocently nerve-racking because the driver of a car just won't look at the road.

This year has been big for protagonists raised in the woods.

Hell or High Water - ★★★★☆
An unexpected late-summer gem. A highlight for the year so far, come ot think of it.

It's just refreshing to get a relatively straight-forward story that can be told with a minimum of visual effects houses' contributions. I, for one, find the practical, animatronic Jeff Bridges much more lifelike than the all-CG version.

Suicide Squad - ★½☆☆☆
I'm not so much angry as disappointed.

Everyone is reacting to this movie in much the way I felt about Guardians of the Galaxy. I mean, Guardians -is- a better movie, but that's a low bar. The movie does everything twice - introduces all the characters twice, sends them on the same mission twice. The mission feels pointless. On the one hand, apparently global destruction has been unleashed, but on the other, the scale of the movie makes it feel like a cut scene you're sitting through for the nth time, in between beating up faceless okay-to-shoot zombie goons.

The plot is weak enough that the movie would probably be better not bothering with it. We need a team that can take down Superman? Okay, but this sure isn't it. Instead of making the whole movie hinged on Waller's clumsy failure to form a super squad, open with a clear goal: Fight Enchantress. Then you can reveal later on how she got to where she is (either a blunder or a deliberate ploy to show how useful this squad could be), and we can be all conflicted about how to feel about Waller and her motives.

I'm not excited about a alternate DVD cut with more of this terrible Joker, but I guess I'd like to see the movie the director was trying to make sometime.
 

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