McKane’s Movies

Luke McKane, Staff Writer and Designer


The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
“The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” is the quintessential spaghetti western—a film set in America’s Wild West but filmed in Europe, typically Italy, to reduce production costs. Released in 1966, and directed by Sergio Leone, the movie follows three main characters: Blondie (Clint Eastwood), Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) and Tuco (Eli Wallach). Blondie—a professional gunslinger looking to make some quick money—and Tuco—a wanted outlaw—team up to make money off of Tuco’s bounty. Angel Eyes is a cutthroat bounty hunter searching for a man named Bill Carson, who supposedly just buried $200,000 in gold. In Tuco’s attempt to chase down Blondie, the two stumble upon a dying Bill Carson. Tuco and Blondie must put their differences aside and work together to find the gold, all with Angel Eyes close on their trail. Filled with intense action and wild plot twists, this film captures a stylized Wild West full of old saloons and quite a few tumbleweeds. With plenty of western stereotypes, the rolling story gains a little speed with each encounter. In my opinion, this movie has it all. Soundtrack? Iconic. Acting? Amazing. Pacing? Debatable. Final Duel? The greatest standoff of all time. “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” is an all-time classic, a must-watch … but only if you can handle the fact that it is nearly

three hours long.

“Akira” is one of the most influential animated movies of all time. It blends a grounded near-future world with the supernatural to create an eerie, and almost believable, depiction of the future. Released in 1988, Akira takes place in 2019 in the futuristic city of Neo-Tokyo as envisioned by director Katsuhiro Ôtomo. In the film, while students across the nation are protesting against the recent tax reforms designed to only aid the rich, Neo-Tokyo is put in danger when a teenage biker gang gets mixed up with secret military research and turns one of the gang members into an unstoppable psychic psychopath. The movie captures Japanese citizens’ distrust of the government and military in post World War II Japan. The design of Neo-Tokyo set a precedent for what a futuristic metropolis filled with looming skyscrapers full of bright lights would look like in later futuristic films around the world. Kanye West has even cited Akira as a massive influence on his work: many of his clothing designs, including a replica jacket, are inspired by the movie, and the music video for his song “Stronger” is a recreation of a scene from the film. If you are looking for a thought-provoking, science-fiction movie with beautiful visuals, I highly recommend “Akira”.

Recent Movies:

Don’t Look Up
“Don’t Look Up,” originally written as a comedic critique of how our world responds to climate change, also functions as a reflection of America’s politicization of the COVID-19 pandemic and response. The movie addresses the question, “How would our world react to the news of a meteor on a direct path to Earth?” I often found myself rolling my eyes at the blatant analogies to COVID-19, particularly when characters started saying they didn’t believe in the meteor. The highlight of this movie is the all-star cast. Reading the cast list sounds like listing a table group at the Oscars, with the cast having won eight Oscars and 43 nominations in total. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence carry the movie and Jonah Hill’s scenes are always funny. “Don’t Look Up” is a great option for a movie to watch with your family over the upcoming breaks.

Red Notice
“Red Notice” is bad, but in a “so bad it’s fun to watch with friends” kind of way. Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot, the movie has decent acting but falls short in its storytelling (or succeeds comedically depending on how you chose to see it). The film is centered around a hunt for Cleopatra’s three eggs, which were gifts given to her by Mark Antony on their wedding day, thought to have been lost to time. It’s full of random plot twists that all seem to try and one-up each other as if it was written by tw

o brothers competing to see who could add the most absurd storyline. It also doesn’t feel like the actors are actually acting. Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are cast as characters so similar to their personality that it often feels like we are watching Ryan Renolds play Ryan Renolds and “The Rock” play “The Rock.” In this case, it’s not a bad thing. Overall “Red Notice” is not an impactful film to reflect on later, but it can be a good choice if you need a fun flick to watch with friends.


The Batman
“The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz, is going to be a must-see movie. Not only is Batman being played by a former star of the Twilight Saga, but this will also be the first Batman film adaptation to have an explicit “no-kill” rule—a key aspect of the character in the comics. The film is also supposed to have a darker take on Batman, which is a bold goal following the Christain Bale Batman trilogy, which already had some pretty dark villains. “The Batman” will be in theaters on March 4, 2022.

“Uncharted,” starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, is an adaptation of the critically acclaimed video game series. While video game movie adaptations have not been top-notch films in the past (thinking of Sonic the Hedgehog and Mortal Kombat), I think that Uncharted will be the one to break that trend. The Uncharted video games are story-based with linear progression that can make the game feel like a movie at times. I recommend watching this movie, even if you have not played the games. It released February 18, 2022.