Three new reviews on “Every Movie Has a Lesson” from Don Shanahan



Here’s one word this writer never thought he would use to describe a Paul Greengrass-directed Jason Bourne film starring Matt Damon: FORMULAIC.  After a tremendously successful trilogy (and not-so-successful spin-off) that had the right ending nine years ago, Greengrass and Damon were coaxed back into another cat-and-mouse spy game.  Its rote construction and stakes that always feel like an arm-length away from stronger impact, “Jason Bourne” may be questionable enough to make us wonder if we’ve been seeing the same film four times now.


To the uninformed, “Batman: The Killing Joke,” a one-shot written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland, is a blistering 64-page classic of grim madness that fleshes out the most widely-accepted and definitive origin story of Batman’s greatest villain, The Joker.  The graphic novel routinely, after nearly thirty years, tops the lists of the best Joker stories, and even overall Batman stories, ever told on the comic page.  Filled with rated-R level violence and disturbing content, this is not your Saturday morning or weekday afternoon Batman story.


Young writer-director Drake Doremus has carved out a reputable niche in the romantic drama department.  Many of the Sundance darling’s films, including his notable 2011 Grand Jury Prize winner “Like Crazy,” feature a prominent theme of longing love.  That motif is on full display and meshed with mindful science fiction in his new film “Equals.”  Starring Nicholas Hoult and Kristen Stewart and backed by Ridley Scott, the film is making a limited theatrical run alongside a full release on VOD marketplaces.  Mindful doesn’t exactly equal poignancy on the scale of desired response.



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