15. The Way Back (2010) Movie Review: Whole Lot of Walking Going On

The human spirit forces itself on so many movies you have to wonder if that's the whole reason we make the damn things. Gruff, no nonsense men learning lessons about being brothers while overcoming uncertain odds. That's pretty much the whole story here.

    Our story starts in Siberia where men are kept like cattle by communist Russian forces. This prison camp holds any and all enemies of the state, from the idealistic and funny to the gruff and mean. Political and violent alike. Then a bunch of them escape and its those assholes we follow.

    The true star of this film is the direction and cinematography. There's some good acting, to be sure, but views of snowy forests, mountain lakes, vast empty deserts, and peaks of Eastern Asia fill the screen and demand to be seen. As the men walk to each new climate, you have to wonder how this new and beautiful piece of the world is going to kill another man.

    Make no mistake, this film is brutal as it is beautiful. When the prison camp is the most hospitable place in the story, be sure challenges continue to mount. No one gets off this planet alive, but it's amazing when there's good views.

7. Darkest Hour (2017) Movie Review: One Actor Verses the World

Gary Oldman for years has been the guy you look at and think "Hey that guy's really damn good," and then just forget about him until the next time. He's been a Harry Potter, a punk rocker, a drug kingpin, a space guy, and everything in between. Now he's in a fat suit and we're supposed to be impressed. Spoiler alert, I was impressed.

    In case he comes out as some kind of evil bastard with sex problems or is an armoured car robber, I must say I know next to nothing of him as a man. You know what, more actors should become awesome thieves. Not like when people shoplift and claim it's an acting thing, but more like that Kevin Bacon commercial when nobody can believe it's him. If Ray Liotta came in with a gun to the library and said, "Gimme the cash drawer," I'd be telling the cops "Some guy looking like Ray Liotta robbed me" instead of "Ray Liotta robbed me."

    Just saying.

    If you want a movie in between King's Speech and Dunkirk that has some heart, see this flick. It's more about the acting than the story. I'm not sure how accurate it is, but everything goes for broke and does well. Worth a matinee for some of the good shots or a rental if people keep talking about it for awards.

Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017) Movie Review that f*&king cheated, that silly old bear

When do you let a movie get away with shit? We all like a twist ending, right? Something that redefines a movie and the characters in context. Even a bad twist ending makes a movie memorable. But at what point do we call bullshit?

    A.A. Milne has a bunch of problems. He came back from the Great War with his head all crazy, he has a wife that's a bit on the materialistic side, and the kid they had to save their marriage is just a pain. So his wife ditches him in the woods with the kid and Milne has to play "make-em-ups" to entertain the kid. Those "make-em-ups" turn out to be Winnie-the-Pooh, an international sensation that ruins the kid's life.

    So where does the cheating come into play? The movie starts with a military man delivering a letter and Mama Milne crying. Spoiler alert: The kid is fine. When the story flashes back and catches up, turns out the kid walks home from World War 2 like a boss. Except he's annoying now.

    Really, though, that's just the second worst part of the story. The worst is the grown up Christopher Robin. To be honest, even he's not bad. The acting is solid, the movie is charming, and I really did enjoy my time. Check it out when you want a slow drama.