The She-Wolf of France (1959) by Maurice Druon

“The She-Wolf of France” skips years ahead from the last “Accursed Kings” novel, and focuses heavily enough on so many new characters and conflicts that it feels like a new, separate movement in the series compared to the first four books. After all the events of the last book, and presumably the lack of history…

Atomic Blonde (2017)

The marketing for “Atomic Blonde” led me to expect basically a John Wick film but with Charlize Theron as the lead, but the film itself really does feel like its own beast. The Cold War Berlin setting doesn’t just feeling like something in the background, but an integral part of the film, the whole plot…

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

This modern Planet of the Apes reboot series is curious in how earnestly it commits to its old-school sci-fi premise. These aren’t films coated in thick layers of irony, they don’t arm themselves in quips and wink at the crowd assuring viewers that they’re aware of the silliness of the premise, and they keep the…

Dunkirk (2017)

Most of director Christopher Nolan’s films fall fairly neatly into the genres their marketing campaigns sold them as. His three Batman movies are superhero movies through-and-through, “Inception” and “Interstellar” are science-fiction, “The Prestige” and “Memento” are thrillers, and so on. “Dunkirk” was more or less sold as a war film. It’s certainly set during a…

Baby Driver (2017)

Edgar Wright ditches his usual penchant for parody and delivers a surprisingly straight-faced action car chase movie with “Baby Driver”. The big creative element is the huge role music plays in the film, and how Wright infuses the music into the kinetics of the film, in-time, so sound effects and music join in a big…

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

When I heard “Spider-Man: Homecoming” being span as a John Hughes-esque dramedy, I took it the same way I took “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” being span as a political thriller, “Ant-Man” a heist thriller, or, god forbid, “Captain America: Civil War” as a psychological thriller (which the directors quite literally described it as). Which…

Pushing Daisies: Season 2 (2009)

The most defining quality of the second season of “Pushing Daisies” is that it’s longer than the first. This gives the cast more room to develop and experiment with their roles, more chance to branch out into new subplots and explore more backstories, but also exposes the hollow repetition of the show’s procedural nature in…