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Movie Reviews

This category contains 351 posts

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: “Spider-Man: Far From Home”

Spider-Man: Far From Home isn’t just a post-Avengers: Endgame coda for the MCU mega-experiment, it’s the palate cleanser we need after the past few months of superhero movies, one that cleverly manages to tell a simpler, more personal story against the colossal backdrop of the Marvel movie universe. It begins eight months after the events of Endgame, … Continue reading

Movie review: “The Dead Don’t Die”

Make no mistake: The Dead Don’t Die is a minimalist zombie movie for the Jim Jarmusch fans who’ve ever wondered what a Jim Jarmusch zombie movie might look like. As a horror movie, it lacks the gore and over-wrought despair necessary to satisfy the Walking Dead crowd; as a comedy, it’s far too dry for … Continue reading

Movie review: “Dark Phoenix”

Dark Phoenix represents not so much the end of an era as it does a mercy killing, and the late Fox Studios X-Men franchise ends with sound and fury punctuated by a fizzle. AIt makes more of an attempt to adapt Chris Claremont’s classic 1980 storyline than X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) did, and fails even … Continue reading

Movie review: “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”

Arguably a case of “Be careful what you wish for…”, Godzilla: King of the Monsters represents a hard turn away from the more elegant less-is-more approach of Godzilla (2014), which left many hardcore fans unsatisfied by its lack of gratuitous giant monster mayhem-porn. King of the Monsters makes up for that shortcoming and then some; on … 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: “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

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