February and March provide the best and worst the film industry has to offer
By Jimmy Fortuna-Peak
The 18th film in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) provides an amazing story, and the best cast the franchise has seen to date. Black Panther follows T’Challa, the king of the technologically advanced and isolated country of Wakanda, and the events that arise after he takes the throne from his recently deceased father. Chadwick Boseman does a perfect job of bringing T’Challa to the big screen, and Michael B. Jordan gives a near-perfect performance as the film’s villain, Erik Killmonger. The world-building is solid, and you feel as though you really know the world of Wakanda by the time the film ends. The ties to other MCU movies are subtle and don’t bog down the film whatsoever. The only thing the film suffers from is some below average visual effects throughout, however, this does not take away from the experience as a whole. Black Panther is one of the best superhero movies to come out in recent years and is one of the crown jewels of the MCU.
This new mystery comedy serves as a fun night out, but nothing more than that. Game Night tells the story of a group of adult friends who, during a murder mystery party, get caught up in a real life murder mystery. The film has a fun cast featuring Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, and Jesse Plemons. There’s good chemistry throughout and the actors work well together. While there are no gut busting laughs, the film is consistent with its comedy. Game Night suffers most from its screenplay as there are numerous plot holes in the story as well as many instances of convenience towards the main characters. The ending twist is so out of the box and crazy that the rest of the story doesn’t even work and the likelihood of it actually happening would be zero to none. Overall, Game Night is not a breakthrough piece of film, but provides some laughs and is worth watching.
Alex Garland’s second feature film pulls no punches in this slow, yet creative look at evolution and self-destruction. Annihilation follows a team of military scientist and their dangerous investigation into a strange natural phenomenon called the Shimmer. This female driven cast featuring Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Oscar Isaac feels fresh and exciting as all the actors dive heavily into their respective roles. While the pacing is slow, it doesn’t take away from the constant suspense the film brings or the narrative as a whole. The visuals are amazing with some creative set designs that are mind blowing. The film only falters in that the ending is bit anticlimactic. While the ending does fit thematically with the story, its reveal and ambiguity may seem a bit tame to what it could have been. Annihilation is an intelligent and suspenseful sci-fi drama that will be studied and debated on for years to come.
This adaptation of Madeline D’Lean’s beloved novel of the same name bombs in every way imaginable. A Wrinkle in Time depicts the story of Meg Murray, and her journey through space and time to rescue her father from an imposing dark force. The first of many problems this film has is its hideous acting. Storm Reid tries but fails to carry the movie as the main lead, and Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, and Reese Witherspoon all look like they are intoxicated the whole time. Most predominantly, Deric McCabe gives perhaps one of the worst child performances ever with his portrayal of Charles Wallace. The story and pacing is choppy, and is honestly quite boring most of the time. Never once does it feel like the characters are in danger completely taking away the intended suspense. The only redeeming quality of the film is its dazzling cinematography. A Wrinkle in Time is yet another failed adaptation proving why a big budgets don’t necessarily mean a better film.