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Movie review: “Thor: Ragnarok”

Let’s face it: the God of Thunder has arguably been an outlier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, struggling to mesh with its more rounded pegs. Fortunately, with Thor: Ragnarok, writer-director-actor Taika Waititi (What We Do In the Shadows) wisely mines humor from the character’s inherent silliness and wraps it around an dazzling, offbeat core of … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Thor: The Dark World’

With Phase Two of its master plan for pop culture domination now well under way, Marvel has put itself in a precarious position: The novelty value of seeing these characters on the big screen for the first time is spent, the afterglow of The Avengers has worn off, and loft fan expectation means coasting is … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘Thor’

For better or worse, comic book-themed movies continue apace, and have become a full-fledged genre in their own right. With the latest offering (the first of four assorted superhero flicks scheduled for release this summer), Marvel Studios delivers a creative, enjoyable, fast-past movie. Based on one of the company’s hokier characters, who in turn is based on Norse … Continue reading

Movie review: “It Chapter Two”

It Chapter Two is as strong a follow-up as we were likely to get from author Stephen King’s weighty novel. The back half of the story is weaker than the first, both in the novel and the 1989 TV miniseries version. Co-writer/director Andy Muschietti doesn’t entirely escape the meandering bloat of the source material (the … Continue reading

Movie review: “Avengers: Endgame”

Avengers: Endgame is the satisfying culmination to Marvel Studios’ 11-year, 22-movie experiment that changed the movie landscape. That it succeeds isn’t a surprise — Marvel has filtered and refined its formula to a degree that even its weakest performers have the kind of box office performance that most can only dream of. The real surprise … Continue reading

Movie review: “Mary Poppins Returns”

There’s more than a spoonful of sugar to be had with Disney’s sequel to Mary Poppins (1964), which is content to play it safe with a rehash of the original’s plot and equally derivative musical numbers. Nevertheless, it’s an bubbly concoction that goes down easy, and the adolescent target audience isn’t likely to nitpick. The borderline remake … Continue reading

Movie review: “Bad Times at the El Royale”

Much as he did with The Cabin in the Woods, writer-director Drew Goddard (The Martian) has taken a hoary old premise and re-invigorated it with deft plot twists (often delivered with shocking, sudden violence), black comedy, and genre satire. Bad Times at the El Royale plays like a long-lost Agatha Christie potboiler by way of Quentin Tarantino. … Continue reading

Movie review: “Avengers: Infinity War”

There’s almost no point in writing a review of Avengers: Infinity War; Marvel’s über-ambitious movie juggernaut has built momentum behind itself for 18 movies over the course of a decade, and moviegoers made their decision whether or not to see it some time ago. Let’s be honest: all you really want to know is if … Continue reading

Movie review: “Justice League”

It’s truly difficult to not pity the beleaguered Justice League movie. The long-awaited comic book team-up flick arrives with low expectations thanks to the twin dumpster fires of Batman V. Superman and Suicide Squad, plopped down in the combined shadows of the half-dozen or so other, better comic books flicks that dominated the year. It’s … Continue reading

Movie review: “The Snowman”

Rife with potential, the film adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s bestselling crime novel makes for frustrating viewing, even more so now that director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) recently revealed that 10-15 percent of the script was never filmed. Sadly, there’s probably a good movie buried in it somewhere; ironically, cutting more … Continue reading

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