PTAbro has written 18 reviews for films during 2016.

  • The Neon Demon

    The Neon Demon

    ★★★½

    Third acts are tough. Most of my film-going experience has seen plot propelled by premise, launched by first acts and relying on an agreement with the audience that the filmmaker makes an opening deposit on engagement. In a world where nothing is original, and everything has been done before, we settle for predictability (sometimes, but less frequently, in hindsight) because "the journey is more important than the destination" has been hammered into us as a bulwark against criticism that escapism…

  • High-Rise

    High-Rise

    ★★½

    Like the lower-floor tenants denied the amenities of the elevated, we - the audience - seem privy to glimpses of a larger and more coherent story; but Wheatley shuts the door before a greater understanding is ever allowed to coalesce in more than the broadest strokes. A fine allegory, but without the context and embellishment of Ballard's prose, I'm left standing out in the cold holding frivolous scenes of attempted artistry and a frustrating sense that the party was going to be really good if only I had been invited.

  • The Witch

    The Witch

    ★★

    Clearly a labor of love yet also a feature debut, The Witch deserves accolades for its attention to scenic and historical atmosphere, but falls short of becoming the archetype director Eggers strived to make it. The pacing alternates between scattered breadcrumbs and bloody sinew, never quite making up its mind whether this is a nightmare or real life. While this is no doubt intentional according to the film's subtitle, it breaks immersion too often trying to figure out which side…

  • Captain America: Civil War

    Captain America: Civil War

    ★★★★

    Assemble, if you will, the humor and charm of The First Avenger, the action and intrigue of The Winter Soldier, and a cast list that makes me wonder how many of Chris Evans' future lives he had to sell to the devil to get top billing on the real Avengers 3. What you come up with is Marvel's best film yet, finally beating Johnston's classic origin story and Whedon's winking homage to golden age gusto. I'm still scratching my head…

  • The Good Dinosaur

    The Good Dinosaur

    ★★★

    Visual enthralling - I mean with all the hyperbole I can muster that The Good Dinosaur is the film that proves digital landscapes have not only cleared, but have catapulted across the uncanny valley of our natural world. Unfortunately, while the vignette-based adventure story is mostly uplifting without being mawkish as is Pixar's recent wont, the narrative doesn't flow and would have been - had the studio been brave enough to make a film without dialogue - an easy masterpiece…

  • Ant-Man

    Ant-Man

    ★★★

    If I could have any superpower, I think I'd want the ability to turn into the real Paul Rudd on a whim. That'd kind of be like wishing for more wishes though.

  • The Reconstruction of William Zero

    The Reconstruction of William Zero

    ★★★

    Shane Carruth lookalike makes Shane Carruth movie-lite with Shane Carruth's Color wife.

  • 10 Cloverfield Lane

    10 Cloverfield Lane

    ★★

    I'd like to imagine Valencia/The Cellar ended with a shot of birds flying overhead. That's a movie I could fall in love with.

  • The Martian

    The Martian

    ★★★½

    Unexpectedly and refreshingly not a remake of Robinson Crusoe on Mars; the fact that Scott focuses as much (if not more) on the Earthbound rescuers than our titular space pirate makes for a fast-paced and sufficiently complex narrative focus. It's a blessing and a curse, as the cool science shit Damon does far overshadows the boring science shit trained NASA professionals do yet we're denied some of the former to make room for the latter, even if the pacing overall…

  • Jurassic World

    Jurassic World

    Colin Trevorrow hates you.

    He hates that you'll lap up any shit that Hollywood spits out and break box office records in the process. He hates that you don't give a shit about filmic legacies and regurgitated (sometimes shot-for-shot) scenes that neither hold a candle to the original or are purposely derisive to it. He hates that you'll take any non-sensical, lazy plot and keep coming back, even after being burned so many times before. He hates you so much…

  • Bone Tomahawk

    Bone Tomahawk

    ★★★

    Brooder prequel when?

  • Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo

    Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo

    ★★★½

    Finally able to watch with proper subs, Rebuild 3.33 continues to delight with new, non-conflicting content to the Evangelion saga. Though it doesn't quite contain the full package of new and old that 2.22 blew out of the park (or Geofront, if you prefer), there's enough to reminisce over while being treated to a drastically different branch of the TV series' base storyline.

    One of my few complaints with the original series is Kaworu's importance when contrasted with his screen…