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Gary Dowell

Professional film critic, journalist, Byronic hero.
Gary Dowell has written 558 posts for movie ink™

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: “Hellboy”

After the decision was made to relaunch the Hellboy film franchise, die-hard fans spent more time kvetching about who was going to be underneath the prosthetics than who would be writing it. The sorry surprise is that David Harbour (Stranger Things) proves to be a worthy successor to Ron Perlman, only to be undone by … Continue reading

Movie review: “Shazam!”

Shazam! joins the ranks of Wonder Woman and Aquaman as a dose of much-needed levity for the DCEU. In fact, it lands nicely between the two: more light-hearted than the former, and more tightly plotted and focused than the latter. The movie is based on the original Captain Marvel, who debuted in the 1940s and … Continue reading

Movie review: “Captain Marvel”

Breezy and light on gravitas, Captain Marvel doesn’t shake up the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it does find a few new ways to perk up the umpteenth superhero origin story. It falls short of the intensity that propelled Black Panther and Wonder Woman, but most do. Set in 1995, the movie introduces us to Vers (Brie Larson), a member of … Continue reading

Movie review: “Alita: Battle Angel”

There’s not a lot below the surface of Alita: Battle Angel, mostly because it puts everything it has front and center. For what it lacks in subtlety, it makes up for in visceral action, vivid world-building, and sci-fi melodrama. This long-gestating project — a labor of love for co-writer/producer James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez that the … Continue reading

Movie review: “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part”

Almost everything is awesome in Mike Mitchell’s (Trolls) obligatory sequel to Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s breakout 2014 animated feature. The gags are still fast, furious, and often deeply referential; the animation still impressively blurs the line between CGI and super-convincing stop-motion; and the songs are still maddeningly catchy — especially the one titled aptly … Continue reading

Movie review: “Destroyer”

It’s a shame that Karyn Kusama’s Destroyer was released in during the last week of 2018, lost in the shuffle of holiday blockbusters and awards fodder. A sun-washed yet grimy and nihilistic slow-burn neo-noir doomed to obscurity, it boasts one of Nicole Kidman’s most compelling and fearless performances. She goes all-out as alcoholic, dissolute LAPD detective … Continue reading

Movie review: “Aquaman”

Perhaps the most comic-booky of comic book movies to hit the screen since Superman (1978), Aquaman is rough around the edges but nevertheless an enjoyably silly ride that unabashedly embraces the cheesiness and weirdness of its world and runs — er, swims — with it at full speed. It doesn’t hurt that charismatic Jason Momoa is … 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: “Halloween”

Halloween wasn’t exactly the first slasher flick when it hit the screens in 1978, but John Carpenter’s low-rent classic established the template for the sub-genre. It’s been a rocky road since then, with countless knock-offs and remakes littering its wake. Even though they’re treading well-worn ground, writer-director David Gordon Green and co-writers Danny McBride and … Continue reading

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