Drama

Creed II, by Albert W. Vogt III

One good thing to say about the Creed franchise to this point is that it does not follow the same pattern as its predecessor, Rocky, with reminding you for the first few minutes what happened in the last one.  Some may appreciate the reminder of what they had last seen.  I do not.  But, hey, if that is you, then more power to you.  Then again, there are a lot of other ways in which the new series mimics the old one.  For example, today’s film, Creed II (2018), is basically Rocky IV (1985). Why do I say that Creed II is basically Rocky IV?  Because Creed II begins not with the title character, Adonis Creed (Michael…

Knock at the Cabin, by Albert W. Vogt III

Okay, so, I believe I wrote somewhere recently that I am trying not to be so critical.  I know this is difficult as the root word from that adjective is my self-appointed job.  The director of the new release I saw this weekend, M. Knight Shyamalan, makes abstaining from too much criticism harder.  That movie, by the way, is Knock at the Cabin.  Shyamalan developed a reputation for having a twist at the end of all his films.  With The Sixth Sense (1999), it is that Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is already dead; in The Village (2004), the title locale exists in modern times and not the seventeenth century;…

Creed, by Albert W. Vogt III

Now that we have gotten the entire Rocky franchise out of the way, it is time to address the next cinematic prodigy of pugilism.  It starts (again) with Creed (2015).  In case you are not an idiot like myself and have not recently rewatched the entire previous series, the name in the title refers to Robert “Rocky” Balboa’s (Sylvester Stallone) former rival turned friend Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers).  There is a twist, however, because another aspect from before that you may not remember is that Apollo died.  Before he shuffled, or, more accurately, got punched, off this mortal coil, he apparently sowed his wild oats.  Do people still say…

Rocky Balboa, by Albert W. Vogt III

Through the first five movies in the Rocky franchise, the title character’s love interest and eventual wife, Adrianna “Adrian” Balboa née Pennino was played by Talia Shire.  Shire is still alive and well, thus clearly available for this last of the series to bear the famous fictional boxer’s name.  There is a cynical notion that Hollywood does not want its leading lights, especially the men, to have older looking women on their arms.  Today’s film, Rocky Balboa (2006), seems to bear this out.  The positive spin is that they needed something to make Robert “Rocky” Balboa’s (Sylvester Stallone) character more dramatic.  Thus, we see him grieving Adrian throughout the…

Rocky V, by Albert W. Vogt III

Here we are, Rocky V (1990).  The series at some point became a punchline for how many sequels have been made.  I will not trouble with you any of the jokes, but you can probably get the picture just by knowing there is a fifth one.  And this is not even the last iteration.  Having said that, I am not sure poking fun at them is fair.  Sure, they can be a little cheesy.  They get progressively sillier as they go on, and this last one is no exception.  Yet, the thing that has continued to impress me about them is that they are less about boxing, and more…

Rocky IV, by Albert W. Vogt III

It was inevitable that I would run out of ways of introducing movies in the Rocky franchise.  Like many real-life athletes, they probably hung around for too long.  Their box office returns would say otherwise.  I mean, even Tom Brady won Super Bowls in his forties.  That does not change the fact that he is old, by athletic standards.  Then again, I suppose if you know what you are doing, you can keep on doing it seemingly indefinitely.  Like with Rocky III (1982), the key is finding some new way of motivating you.  Brady won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots before moving on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,…

Rocky III, by Albert W. Vogt III

How do you keep a franchise going when your main character, the title one in the Rocky franchise, is supposed to always be the underdog?  The answer lies with sports.  The problem is that not everyone enjoys these pastimes.  A good movie will bring most anyone to the theater, but the material will only keep a large audience’s attention for so long.  A broad swath of the viewing public could rally behind Robert “Rocky” Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) because who among us has never had to face doubt?  He is particularly popular in this country because he comes from the kind of humble beginnings that describe so many…

Rocky II, by Albert W. Vogt III

Honestly, I had never seen any of the films in the Rocky franchise.  As I indicated in my review of the original, Rocky (1976), there are many aspects of them that are familiar.  What has been a treat so far in watching the first two is the connection to the South Philadelphia Italian neighborhood that raised and nurtured Robert “Rocky” Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).  Of even greater delight for this Catholic reviewer has been seeing the Faith of people in that neighborhood, including Rocky.  This is an even larger factor in Rocky II (1979), and I will, unsurprisingly, be going deeper into that part later in the review.  As for the…

Rocky, by Albert W. Vogt III

With the imminent release of Creed III, I thought it would be nice to go back to where it all began with Rocky (1976).  It is one of those movies that many people are familiar with, even if they have not seen it.  The name has become synonymous with the underdog triumphing over all odds.  There is the music, often used to motivate oneself in difficult situations.  In Philadelphia, the city in which it is set, there is a statue of the title character (Sylvester Stallone) on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, depicting an iconic moment from the film.  These are all aspects of it…

The Mask of Zorro, by Albert W. Vogt III

When cable began, one of the first companies to take advantage of this new broadcast opportunity was Disney.  My family, I feel, got in pretty early with this up-and-coming way of watching television.  My sister and I were never huge Disney people, but we loved watching the Disney channel.  I suspect it was for vastly different reasons.  In those days, the original programming was less frequent, but that was what my sister liked most.  I was drawn to the old stuff.  A cable network required twenty-four hours-a-day viewing material.  Hence, Disney had to find stuff to fill all those time slots.  This is how I first learned of…

Missing, by Albert W. Vogt III

Have you ever sat or stood over someone’s shoulder and watched them use their computer?  Well, if you see Missing, get ready for almost two hours of this kind of nonsense.  Perhaps I am not being charitable.  At the same time, neither am I lying.  The movie is shot entirely from the perspective of somebody looking at a computer screen.  I thought they had left this style of filmmaking behind with Profile (2018).  Nope!  As if after all we have been through with COVID forcing us to live a majority of our lives in a digital space, we need to see more of this kind of thing in Missing?  I get it,…

Victoria & Abdul, by Albert W. Vogt III

How many of you can remember six years ago?  I ask for a couple reasons.  The first is self-deprecating.  It is somewhat embarrassing, I should think, for a trained historian to keep locked in his head random facts hundreds of years old and cannot clearly recall details from my own life.  I tend to date events based on who I dated in a particular year.  That is pretty pathetic, no?  It is also not specific.  It does lead me to the other aspect of my faulty memory.  Six years ago, Victoria & Abdul (2017) premiered.  Thinking back tells me that I wanted to see it in theaters, but dash it if…

Sneakers, by Albert W. Vogt III

Sometimes we look at the things in the world and feel there is nothing to do but something drastic.  Such are the problems we face that we feel powerless to do anything about them, which leads to the kind of desperation that coincides with drastic.  What such thoughts often engender is a desire for control.  If only I had the ability to change a person’s mind, alter this law, or sway the public in that direction, everything would be okay, or so this hypothetical line of musings could go.  It is understandable.  I would wager that all of us at one point or another have…

Plane, by Albert W. Vogt III

What I saw this weekend was a Plane old, okay new, movie.  Actually, I thought of that pun before I got to the theater.  It is also nice when your predictions in pun form come true.  This is also not to say it is a bad movie.  It is not a great one, either.  Hence, pun becomes reality.  I do not know much else to say about it by way of introducing it.  There are exciting parts.  There are dumbs parts.  Ultimately, none of it is memorable and I will be moving on with my life. With a title like Plane, you can expect a pilot to be a major character in…

Emily the Criminal, by Albert W. Vogt III

Aubrey Plaza, the star of today’s film Emily the Criminal (2022), and I probably have little in common.  As I understand it from watching interviews with her, she had a Catholic upbringing.  So, there is one trait we share.  Given other things I have learned about her, being baptized in the Church is perhaps where our similarities begin and end.  I am generalizing, of course, but since I still practice the Faith and she has a production company called Evil Hag Productions, I suspect my theory is correct.  That is okay.  Because she was in my beloved Parks and Recreation (2009-2015) and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), I enjoy her work.  Well,…

28 Days, by Albert W. Vogt III

What I thought would be a light-hearted comedy with 28 Days (2000) turned out to be a more serious look at an important issue.  I landed on it because it stars Sandra Bullock.  Call it what you will, but as I have said in reviews of her other work, I enjoy her movies.  As such, choosing this one was simply a matter of me attempting to round out her catalog. Like many of her films, there are the funny moments, but there are also the parts that strike an emotional chord.  This is usually the right recipe for a good piece of cinema, and that is what…

Clue, by Albert W. Vogt III

Who does not like a good murder mystery?  Actually, I am not overly fond of them.  For starters, they obviously involve somebody’s death.  That is never ideal.  Secondly, they have a tendency to become convoluted.  I suppose that is the nature of something that is a mystery.  If it were clearer, there would be no need for all the accoutrements that come with these kinds of stories.  Those aspects are part of my third reason for not being the biggest fan of this sub-genre.  Like horror films, they tend to be formulaic.  Everyone seems to have prescribed role to play.  This is why the boardgame Clue became so popular, so much…

True Grit (2010), by Albert W. Vogt III

There will be some of you who might rail against me doing the 2010 remake of True Grit instead of the 1969 original, starring John Wayne.  You may be even more scandalized when I tell you that I have never seen the earlier film.  My job here, or with any other review, is not to catalog the differences between two movies about the same subject.  I examine each on their own merits, and any comparison that is made is done simply to illustrate a point.  Besides, you would be hard pressed to find anything in Hollywood that is not a rip off of something else.  Thus, since…

A Man Called Otto, by Albert W. Vogt III

Whatever is M3GAN (2022), I can all but guarantee you that it is not as good as A Man Called Otto (2022).  In writing that sentence, I realize that I sound a bit like the grumpy old man that is the title character in the latter, Otto Anderson (Tom Hanks).  We will get to that discussion in the next paragraph.  In the meantime, more grumpiness.  I wanted to go to the theater closest to my house to have a nice(ish) meal while watching a film that many people I know said they were excited to see.  Instead, I was forced to go to a different cinema with subpar cuisine.  Such…

La La Land, by Albert W. Vogt III

La La Land (2016) is a musical that I have seen.  The end.  Thank you for reading!  Please subscribe to The Legionnaire! I am kidding, of course, though not about seeing La La Land, unfortunately.  That part is sadly true.  My distaste for this particular musical goes beyond its format.  It is not that everyone was all about it for the two seconds of fame it enjoyed around the time it premiered.  It is because of the way the movie hits a little too close to home.  A dear friend of mine once encouraged me to, instead of avoiding the movies that tug at the heart strings in uncomfortable ways, embrace…

Sleeping Beauty, by Albert W. Vogt III

Perhaps The Legionnaire is bigger than even I realize?  It could be that in quantity of reviews, anyway.  When somebody recently suggested on social media that I review Disenchanted (2022), it came with the caveat that I should first watch Enchanted (2007).  Fine, says I, who am I to deny all my fan. . . ?  I liked neither of them, but dutiful wrote an article about each.  Then, when I went to post what I had to say about Enchanted, I found that Cameron had already covered it.  I am glad he did, but I had forgotten.  This meant the time I spent not only in watching it, but taking the time to…

The Bride of Frankenstein, by Albert W. Vogt III

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) is early proof that Hollywood would rather not put a lot of effort into coming up with original content.  Instead, if a title has any kind of recognizability, they will continue to make sequels of it.  Actually, it is not solely the movie industry that is at fault.  Let us call it human nature that spurs us to opt for the familiar rather than trying something new.  I say this only to underscore the pale imitation of Frankenstein (1931) that is The Bride of Frankenstein.  That is not to say it is a bad movie.  This Catholic reviewer felt a certain degree of spiritual gratification…

Jackie Brown, by Albert W. Vogt III

Not all Quentin Tarantino movies are created alike.  I believe in other reviews of his films I have basically said as much.  Jackie Brown (1997) is one that, for whatever reason, does not get talked about much amongst his total body of work.  Everyone likes Pulp Fiction (1994), except this Catholic reviewer.  Go ahead.  I will give you a moment to rage against me.  Done yet?  Then there are the Tarantino purists that prefer his early work, like Reservoir Dogs (1992).  I am also not a fan of that one.  Need another moment to tell me I have awful taste in movies, even though I cannot hear you?  Please feel free to comment below, if…

Disenchanted, by Albert W. Vogt III

So, now that I have seen Enchanted (2007), does Disenchanted (2022) make more sense?  Honestly, I have no idea how to answer that question.  I suspect that I could have watched the second of these Disney fairy send-ups and I would have at least gotten the gist of what they were trying to accomplish.  Whether it lands is a separate debate.  What I mean by “making sense” is my confusion as to why people enjoy this nonsense.  To be fair, I am thrilled by a whole host of stuff that other would also label as nonsense.  Perhaps I have backed into non-theological definition of existence, that we are all defined…

The Banshees of Inisherin, by Cameron J. Czaja

It’s the new year and that means two things; one, it’s time to start making resolutions that I’ll give up by the end of the month and, two, it’s also the tail end of Oscar Season. For those of you who aren’t aware, Oscar season is basically that time of year where major Hollywood studios push out films set to be critically acclaimed for major film awards leading into the Oscars themselves. It usually starts around October, gains some momentum in November, but December is usually the height of that season due to it being the last month for a…

The Good Nurse, by Albert W. Vogt III

There are two ways of looking at hospitals.  There is the side that says they suck.  Who willingly goes to one?  Typically, the reason for you being in one is that either you or someone to whom you are close is there with some malady.  I have had too much experience with them lately, and I cannot blame anyone who would rather be anywhere else but at one.  The other side of this is the miracles that can take place in them.  Now, I am not about to suggest that you go into one to look for signs of divine intervention.  On the same token, it is…

Do Revenge, by Albert W. Vogt III

One needs to be careful with Swedish films.  Recently, the suggestion was made on my social media that I review Do Revenge.  When I encounter a film that I have yet to hear of, I tend to go straight to Amazon Prime.  If it is not available for free, I rent it, a feature that Netflix has yet to offer.  You might want to rethink that strategy if you are reading this, Netflix.  Anyway, my keyword search on Amazon brought up a movie of the same name from 2018.  Luckily, it was available for free on that platform.  As it began, I immediately noted the benighted, snow lined…

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, by Albert W. Vogt III

Perhaps I should be a more attentive film reviewer?  Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (henceforth just Glass Onion because I do not feel like writing all of that out every time) had been suggested to me on social media to watch and critique.  This was not too onerous of a task as I intended to see it anyway.  Herein comes my lack of attention.  I thought it would have come to theaters, but then I noticed at some point that it was going to be a Netflix movie. Thus, I waited.  In the intervening time between then and last weekend, somebody told me that it did…

Babylon, by Albert W. Vogt III

Either Babylon is pointless, or there is something I missed.  It could be the latter.  If it is, I cannot say I am to blame.  The film, at times, is a sensory overload, and mostly not in a fun way.  A good example of this would be seeing a thousand fireworks displays going off at the same time.  A bad one is today’s movie.  You will see why.  It is also a tragedy, and also not in the kind of way that tugs at your heart strings.  My Faith makes me at least sympathetic, working towards empathetic, to all my fellow man.  This is made more difficult when the characters on-screen…

The Devil Wears Prada, by Albert W. Vogt III

As a rule, I try not to watch movies that have the word “devil” in the title.  Usually they are horror movies, and those I specifically avoid.  Otherwise, they are connected to some form of sin, which should not come as a surprise to anyone.  The enemy is not in the sanctification business.  And then there is The Devil Wears Prada (2006).  If there is something about which I care and know little about, it is fashion.  In my fumbling way, if I were to describe my style, it would be Dr. John Watson meets twenty-first century athlete.  Make of that what you will.  As today’s film deals entirely with…

Delicious, by Albert W. Vogt III

There is nothing like watching a French film to remind you how far you still have to go in learning that language.  A few years back, in my ongoing desire to learn new things, I decided to begin learning French.  In the intervening years, it became a tool for a planned trip to Paris with my dad.  That has yet to happen, as has my mastery of the language.  Could I have watched Delicious (2021) without the subtitles?  Yes, though I would have been understanding maybe half of what was being said.  Perhaps I should have kept them off in hindsight.  I like to give myself challenges, and this…

Avatar: The Way of Water, by Albert W. Vogt III

Lately, while grading late into the wee hours of the morning, I have been putting on Dances with Wolves (1990).  If you look at my review of that film, you will see a humorous anecdote about how it is one of the longest movies in the entire world.  Hyperbole aside, my goal in putting it on is to race it to the finish.  It is not that I am trying to rush my grading.  I simply use it as a measuring stick for how much I have to get done in a given night.  It is also helpful that there are long shots of, well, nothing.  That is…

In the Heights (Part 3), by Albert W. Vogt III

If my distaste for musicals is well-documented, so too was a late friend of mine’s love for them.  Actually, in the nearly thirty years I knew him, and living with him for the past ten, I learned that there were limits to his affections for this genre.  He was not keen on the more modern stuff, and that included today’s film In the Heights (2021).  Before continuing that thought, again, there have not been two sequels to last year’s hit.  This is me paying tribute to my friend who had only a minor interest in this specific title.  Yet, even before his passing yesterday, I found myself…

Frankenstein (1931), by Albert W. Vogt III

There are days when my paying job gets the better of me.  Because it provides the funds to keep me out of the poor house, I tend to prioritize it.  In this pursuit, I do not leave tasks unfinished.  Actually, this is kind of universal when it comes to everything I do.  My preference is to do one thing completely before moving on to the next.  This is my excuse for getting off the suggestions from you, my loyal readers, tonight.  My work pushed everything back in the evening.  When this happens, I have a ready list of under ninety minutes movies that I will watch.  As The Legionnaire is…

Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Through the Ages, by Albert W. Vogt III

One of these days I will run out of reasons to refer to my dissertation, “The Costumed Catholic: Catholics, Whiteness, and the Movies, 1928-1973.”  For now, here is more context.  When looking at the release year for today’s film, Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Through the Ages (1916, and henceforth just Intolerance because I do not feel like typing out the subtitle every time), you might be puzzled.  My dissertation says it begins with 1928, hence 1916 would be outside my purview.  Well, again, context is everything.  As such, no introduction to this film would be complete without mentioning its director, D. W. Griffith.  You have indirectly heard of him, possibly, if…

Garden State, by Albert W. Vogt III

There are movies that you see once, maybe twice, but leave an impression on you all the same.  Garden State (2004) is one of them.  I will not be recommending it, and you will see why as this review unfolds.  There are too many aspects of it that, as I have grown in my Faith, I cannot look at and say, oh well, that is life I suppose.  There is rampant drug use and sexuality in it, and I would rather avoid those subjects.  If this is the case, then why did it leave an impression on me?  There are surface answers, like introducing me to one…

Prometheus, by Albert W. Vogt III

Ever since the release of the first Alien film in 1979, they have been trying to replicate its ground breaking blend of science fiction and horror.  Space can be a scary place, in conception anyway.  Who knows what it is really like out there in the stars.  We have not even come to fully understand our own solar system.  It is that lack of understanding that has motivated moviemakers over the years.  Yet, before 1979, while the ideas have been frightening, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), the actual films have been campy, the 1956 thriller included.  What Ridley Scott, Alien’s director, did was make a universe we could all…

Cyrano, by Albert W. Vogt III

What is worse than a musical?  A historical musical.  There are a few removes to be explained.  First, Cyrano (2021) is a recent film based on a play written in 1897 called Cyrano de Bergerac, which is a fictionalized biographical work about a real seventeenth century French novelist of the same name.  Confused yet?  And for some mad reason some mad person decided to bring this all to the twenty-first century and toss some song and dance numbers into it.  If they had a historical consultant on set, then that person needs to be locked up.  Or do you believe that wars in the seventeenth century (despite the costuming, uniforms,…

Oblivion, by Albert W. Vogt III

Actual oblivion might be preferable to watching the movie called Oblivion (2013).  At the same time, the word, which is a state of being unaware of what is happening, is a fitting title.  It is one of those films with a big reveal at the end that you can kind of guess while watching it only to be disappointed.  Like the main characters, you are unconscious of what is really going on until they finally clue you in and then you think, wait, I spent two hours on this nonsense?  It is like, “ah.  Ah.  AH.  AH!  Oh. . . .”  And then, hopefully, you move on with your life. In…

Citizen Kane, by Albert W. Vogt III

Welcome to the 1,000th post of The Legionnaire.  When I began this blog, it was with the intent that I would review one movie a week, and whatever was newest in the theater.  Then COVID-19 happened, and I could no longer do one of my favorite weekend pastimes.  This turned into a blessing when I realized I could do any movie I wanted.  Still, I have always loved the cinema experience.  As I have grown in my Catholic Faith, I have liked less the offerings Hollywood has attempted to force up us, and with growing concern.  The concern is mine.  Movie production companies, for the most part, care little…

Elysium, by Albert W. Vogt III

Do you not just hate rich people?  Man, rich people.  It would just figure that they would come up with the secret to immortality, wait until the Earth is completely screwed with disease and pollution, and then bounce to outer space.  This clichéd hypothetical is the premise of today’s film, Elysium (2013).  It is so strange to me that Hollywood would make a film like this one since, if this were to go from science fiction to science fact, they would be among the first ones aboard the title space station, toasting champagne with their poolside caviar while their home planet rots below.  Actually, there was a…

Star Trek: First Contact, by Albert W. Vogt III

As has been documented, I do not care much for anything Star Trek related.  For the record, a Star Destroyer from the Star Wars universe would annihilate any ship in Star Trek.  Nerd side rant over.  The only reason I deal with anything from the other science fiction giant, for lack of another term, is because I have friends that like it.  My best friend of all time is particularly fond of the series and movies.  As such, back when Star Trek: First Contact was about to debut in 1996, I let him sweep me up in his excitement.  Finally, they were going to be bringing the Borg to the silver screen! Hooray!  If that…

Wild Style, by Albert W. Vogt III

According to the brief description of Wild Style (1982) on Amazon, the film is “Universally hailed as the first hip-hop movie,” whatever that means.  What it means for me is that I am back to taking film suggestions.  It also has the key words “drama,” “atmospheric,” and “beautiful.”  I am glad Amazon came up with these words because I am not sure how I am going to describe to you what I just saw.  I like to think that I understand the development of hip-hop pretty well.  Yet, watching this film made me realize how much of an intellectual exercise this has been for me, particularly in…

Logan, by Albert W. Vogt III

With the recent announcement of Hugh Jackman reprising his iconic role as Logan, also known as Wolverine from the Marvel Comics famous mutant team of heroes known as the X-Men, I thought, why not do Logan (2017)?  Actually, I am surprised I have not covered it sooner.  It is also interesting to think about it in regards to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), where it is today, and how it stacks up to those titles.  In short, despite belonging to the same comic book company, this one does not fit with those now more familiar films.  It is a fitting metaphor for the end of the…

Violent Night, by Albert W. Vogt III

When I first say the trailer for Violent Night, I thought it was a joke.  With my mouth slightly agape for a few seconds afterwards, I seriously believed that what I witnessed, like Santa Clause himself, was not real.  We Catholics have the genuine article of St. Nicholas, but for all intents and purposes, none of the traditions we associate with the jolly gift bringer in a red suit are related to the former bishop of Myra in Turkey.  Yet, also like those persistent, made-up traditions, I saw the trailer for the film a few more times and it confirmed that it is an…

Interstellar, by Albert W. Vogt III

There are movies that I frankly do not understand.  There was also a time in my life when that would have aggravated me.  One of the benefits of growing in Faith is becoming more in tune with how God sees you.  I can, in no way, shape, or form tell you that I have completed this process. The emotional wounds that scar our souls take the longest to heal, and are easily reopened.  I am no different from anyone else in this regard.  Yet, since God is constant in His love for us, I know that in good times and bad it is something upon…

Devotion, by Albert W. Vogt III

Whenever there is a new animated movie out, the first people I turn to are my nieces.  Call me crazy, but I do not want to be that guy who sits in the corner of a theater by himself seeing a kid’s movie about which I care little.  Hence, earlier in the day I took my niece to see Strange World.  It was not my first choice.  What I would have preferred to see is today’s review, Devotion.  What I did not realize is that it came out this weekend.  There is another film premiering, She Said, that I am going to miss.   I had some trepidation about that one…

Strange World, by Albert W. Vogt III

The de facto chorus in “America” (1968) by Simon and Garfunkel talks of going to look for the title country.  It is about two people, boyfriend and girlfriend presumably, who board a bus in their quest.  They spend most of their trip observing either the people around them or the scenery they pass.  At one point, the man says to the woman that he is “empty and aching” and he does not know why.  As with many of the songs written by the famous 1960s folk duo, there is a lot of meaning to unpack in their words.  I will try to boiled it down.  The…

The Wonder, by Albert W. Vogt III

When it comes to a historical drama, I can be a moth to a bright light.  Hence, when scrolling Netflix offerings, I came upon The Wonder.  My cursory glance at synopsis indicated that it is set in nineteenth century Ireland, focuses on an English nurse Elizabeth “Lib” Wright (Florence Pugh), and that she has to contend with what locals believe to be a miracle.  Perhaps the word “contend” was not used, but it somewhat describes the proceedings.  Given my stated title of Catholic film reviewer, this description cinched my choice for the evening.  The result was strange and surprising, in that order. We begin The Wonder on the…

The Menu, by Albert W. Vogt III

Perhaps I should have gone to see The Chosen.  I would have, but in my cursory research of the title it seemed to me that they were combining episodes of a series and making them into a movie.  I would like one day to have The Legionnaire cover non-films.  But, until the day comes when it is more than myself and Cameron, or a number of other unlikely factors fall my way, I will be sticking to film.  Hence, the choice for this weekend was The Menu.  The trailers I saw did not get me excited.  As I get older, I prefer happy movies.  Sure enough, it started going in…

See How They Run, by Albert W. Vogt III

When See How They Run debuted in theaters this year, I intended to see it.  Unfortunately, it came out the same weekend as The Woman King.  I am one person, and I tend not to force Cameron to reviewing anything.  He has his own life to live, though I appreciate any contribution he gives.  Throw in the rest of the usual excuses and it all adds up to me not getting a chance to view See How They Run as soon as I would have liked.  One has to make these choices sometimes, and I went for the option that seemed to be getting the most attention outside of the…

Enola Holmes, by Albert W. Vogt III

It is not often that I start to fall asleep while watching a movie.  Oh, and by the way, if you have read my review of Enola Holmes 2, as it turns out I had not seen the first Enola Holmes (2020).  This became clear after a few minutes a watching it.  And as the minutes ticked away into the hours, I slowly got bored.  I could put forward any number of reasons for my weariness, most of them legitimate.  I would say all of them are sound, but some might look at aspects of my life and think I have it easy.  Whatever the case, my eyelids nearly…

Enola Holmes 2, by Albert W. Vogt III

Apparently, I have not reviewed Enola Holmes (2020).  I probably should have checked here on The Legionnaire, but I decided my memory was good enough and forged ahead anyway with Enola Holmes 2.  I could have sworn I had at least seen the predecessor, though something else tells me I turned it off in annoyance.  Given how this latest addition to revisionist literature goes, and how many times I rolled my eyes at the proceedings, it strikes me as a distinct possibility that I turned it off before completion.  What kept me going here was a faulty recollection of having seen and reviewed Enola Holmes.  I guess I will now…

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, by Albert W. Vogt III

In the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law series on Disney+, Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), the titular Hulk, has a fourth wall breaking moment.  Not liking how the finale of her show is going, she busts through the menu on the streaming service and hops into a behind-the-scenes documentary about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  Eventually, she comes face-to-um . . . camera lens(?) with K.E.V.I.N.  This is supposed to represent Kevin Feige, the desk of whom the proverbial (and sometimes literal) buck stops with all the MCU stuff.  The fact that he is represented in this scene by an artificial intelligence (AI) is meant to be him…

All Quiet on the Western Front (2022), by Albert W. Vogt III

I have never thought of my educational experience as being special in any manner, aside from attaining a terminal degree. I say this because I am guessing that like many of you, I had to read Erich Maria Remarque’s classic anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front, first published in 1929.  I am also surmising that I was not the only one to skim through it, despite my interest in history.  My memory does not tell me whether I did this in high school or my first years in college, but I recall sitting outside on a blazing hot summer’s day as only…

Zulu, by Albert W. Vogt III

It is difficult to say which is the best war movie.  As only Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz) could put it in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), “Wars not make one great.”  The whole of civilization, yesterday, today, but hopefully not in the future, have been shaped by armed conflict.  There seems to be something within mankind that makes us need to prove ourselves against one another on the battlefield, even if that means a great deal of death and destruction.  The ironic thing about this concept is that almost invariably in the wake of bloody struggle, history remembers a survivor…

Spider-Man, by Albert W. Vogt III

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) now a well-oiled machine, it is fun to go back to when it was basically just Spider-Man, and a version of the famous web-slinger not played by Tom Holland.  It also belies a time when the folks at Marvel seemingly did not know what they were doing, outside of making money, of course.  I am referring to the way they sold the rights to so many of their characters to different production companies, which made it all the more difficult to bring them all back together for what they are doing these days.  It is also useful…

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, by Albert W. Vogt III

If you are a child of the 1980s like I am, you probably have a greater appreciation for “Weird” Al Yankovic than most other generations.  You could hardly be aware of a popular song from that decade for too long before Yankovic released a hilarious parody of it.  There are some who say parodies are mean.  I am inclined to agree with this assessment, though as a kid I laughed at his music as much as the next person.  Parodies are meant to make light of something by copying it in a comedic fashion.  “Weird” Al made a career out of it.  Call it an indication…

Bruce Almighty, by Albert W. Vogt III

Even I was surprised that I had yet to review Bruce Almighty (2003).  It is an interesting film on many levels, particularly for an avowed Catholic film critic.  In my career working for the Church, every once in a while the idea for showing a film on for whatever parish I was working with would be floated.  In case you have never had to deal with putting on such an event, it is illegal for you to screen a movie to a large group for free.  Of course, you can get away with it.  Hollywood is a litigious community, but they likely will not notice if you…

Star Trek: Generations, by Albert W. Vogt III

As I have undoubtedly made clear in other reviews, I am a Star Wars fan.  For whatever reason that our youthful selves conjure, I never got into Star Trek, an attitude that has stuck with me into adulthood.  Still, I have good friends that enjoy the latter, and I would sometimes enter into discussions with them on the subject whenever the fancy struck.  One of the ongoing debates among people who prefer the show that goes boldly where no man has gone before is who is the best captain of the USS Enterprise: the original Captain James Tiberius Kirk (William Shatner) or the man at the helm…

Walking Tall, by Albert W. Vogt III

With Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s passion project Black Adam recently premiering, why not go back to much earlier in his acting career?  It seems like a tale of two Rocks.  Today, he is known as Dwayne Johnson.  Back when today’s example came out, Walking Tall (2004), he was more well known as “The Rock.”  He also had hair.  It is interesting because the film was made by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) productions.  This belies the wrestling roots of today’s star, something that seems all but forgotten.  Actually, I am sure all of you that have posters in your room still of The Rock saying “Can you smell what the Rock is…

Schindler’s List, by Albert W. Vogt III

It was time.  This is a candid admission for somebody with a terminal degree in history, but I had never seen Schindler’s List (1993) before recently.  It was a Saturday evening, right in the middle of the weekend, meaning I need not concern myself with as much regimentation of my time as I usually do.  This is Albert-code for the fact that I typically watch shorter films during the week so I can go to bed early.  Yet, my perusing of the streaming offerings alighted upon today’s movie.  With the thought process just described always latent in the back of my mind, I decided that tonight would…

Till, by Albert W. Vogt III

There are some movies that are tough to watch because the makers of it have little regard for decency.  Their only intent is to titillate with gore, sexuality, and/or violence in a cynical quest to make money by appealing to our basest senses.  Then there are movies that are tough to watch that have some of this questionable material, but should be seen.  This describes the film I watched this weekend, Till.  Our society today seems so permissive of things that back in the 1950s, when the events portrayed in this movie took place, would not have been tolerated.  At the same time, it was a…

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Albert W. Vogt III

Enjoy this one because it might be as close as I get to reviewing a Halloween-esque movie.  Or perhaps I should call it in the ballpark of Halloween?  Halloween-ish?  Anyway, the undead always seem to be more popular around this time, and they are about the only part of the horror genre I will watch, if any, most of the time.  It is because of this tolerance for, ahem, the walking dead that I originally read the novel of the same name by Seth Grahame-Smith.  In case you are wondering, I have never read Jane Austen’s classic novel, sans the zombies.  Hopefully, you did not need…

Freaky Friday, by Albert W. Vogt III

There is another Jamie Lee Curtis film that is out right now that I suppose is a little more seasonally appropriate.  But since I do not care two bits about Halloween, I will not be reviewing the movie of the same name, even if it does have the tantalizingly hopeful subtitle of “Ends.”  Perhaps Cameron will take that one, but if not, oh well.  I promise that I will not lose one moment of sleep over the matter.  Instead, today you are getting Freaky Friday (2003).  I am doing the updated version (in case you could not tell from the date), and you can call it an…

Hero, by Albert W. Vogt III

There was a time in the early part of this century when we here in the United States began getting a number of bona fide Chinese martial arts films.  Among the first was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000).  Not only was it well received by the American viewing public, but it also garnered a great deal of attention at the 73rd Academy Awards, being nominated for ten prizes and winning four of them.  This whetted the appetite for such films.  And then we got Hero (2002).  As I recall, it was billed as being similar to its forerunner.  I can be a sucker for these movies, so I probably would…