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Movie review: “Rampage”

A big slice of “meh” dumped into the no man’s land between Ready Player One and a certain high-profile Marvel movie, Rampage is an afterthought that barely qualifies as a distraction for those waiting for the summer blockbuster season to kick off in earnest. To be fair, it’s not that it’s bad per se, just … Continue reading

Movie review: “Pacific Rim Uprising”

Steven S. DeKnight’s sequel to Guillermo Del Toro’s 2013 love letter to anime and kaiju movies is more coherent than a Transformers movie but not much smarter, Pacific Rim Uprising is at its best when it drops all pretenses and focuses on giant CGI robots fighting giant CGI monsters. The actual flesh-and-blood characters are paper … Continue reading

Movie review: “Black Panther”

No good run lasts forever, and after 18 movies produced during the past 10 years, any movie studio would be long overdue for bomb or two. Sorry, haters: Black Panther is not Marvel’s. In fact, it represents another big step forward in content and quality, and ranks among their best to date. Director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale … Continue reading

Movie review: “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”

Much like the under-appreciated Zathura: A Space Adventure, writer-director Jake Kasdan’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a spiritual sequel to Joe Johnston’s 1995 classic Jumanji, rather than a reboot or a remake. It pays mild homage to its predecessor while charting its own course with a solid, if obvious, spin on the premise. It’s a pleasant … 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: “Kingsman: The Goldman Circle”

Matt Vaughn’s follow-up to his 2015 out-of-left-field action comedy Kingsman: The Secret Service is modestly entertaining, but the high evaporates quite quickly. The Golden Circle suffers from a classic case of sequelitis: it aims to go bigger than the original, but more does indeed wind up being less. The thrill of the new and the unexpected are … Continue reading

Movie review: “War for the Planet of the Apes”

A heady and surprisingly effective blend of war movie, westerns, Shakespearean drama, and Biblical allegory, War for the Planet of the Apes is a top-notch conclusion to what stands as an unexpectedly epic series that continues to punch above its weight class. Its arrival during a summer increasingly defined by franchise fatigue gives a spark of … Continue reading

Movie review: “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”

Luc Besson’s long-awaited return to space opera and pop sci-fi isn’t the worst movie of 2017, but bless his heart he definitely makes a sincere attempt at claiming that honor. Based on the long-running French comic book series, it’s pretty to look at, but also a shallow, loud, dumb and aimless test of one’s patience. … Continue reading

Movie review: “Baby Driver”

Drive by way of La La Land, The Fast and the Furious with brains, Heat meets jukebox musical — Baby Driver is each of those, but in a good way. It marks an intriguing and promising change of course in the career of filmmaker Edgar Wright, who shows more freedom, focus, and confidence as a writer and director … Continue reading

Movie review: “Transformers: The Last Knight”

It will come as no surprise if audiences no longer give a damn about another bombastic Transformers movie, especially now that it seems director Michael Bay no longer does. It’s not evident at first, but as the 149-minute slog of giant CGI robots pounding the holy bejeezus out of each other again starts to drag on … Continue reading

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