Dagger Movie Night: “Kong: Skull Island” — Bananas in the Best Possible Way

poster kong skull island

As “Kong: Skull Island” enters its final act, there’s a memorable exchange between anti-war photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) and aggressively gung-ho Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), one that more or less crystalizes the film’s intent as both a semi-remake and a standalone adventure. “The world is bigger than us,” Weaver intones melodramatically, […]

Dagger Movie Night: “Before I Fall” — Shameless “Groundhog Day” Rip-Off Feels Like Déjà Vu

poster before I fall

One could make the very compelling argument that “Before I Fall” is an example of audience participation filmmaking. Shallow and popular high school student Samantha (Zoey Deutch) spends the entire runtime reliving the day of the car accident that killed her; the audience spends the entire runtime reliving the movie “Groundhog Day.” This shameless remake/rip-off […]

Dagger Movie Night: “A United Kingdom” — Cheesy Oscar Bait, But Good and Honest Cheese

poster a united kingdom

Behold the fabled Prestige Film! There are some for whom this hook is repellant: the worm dangling like a flaccid organ, poised to ejaculate manipulative emotion like award-attracting pheromones. Look at the pretty British actors! Playing people who were significantly less pretty in real life! Sprinkle contrivance and season the historical record with Hollywood tropes, […]