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This tag is associated with 162 posts

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: “The Happytime Murders”

Despite what the hype would have you believe, The Happytime Murders is not the most inappropriate puppet movie ever made (Peter Jackson’s Meet the Feebles still retains that honor). There is a lot of fluff wrapped around its hard-boiled innards, but somewhere in there is also a gleefully raunchy subversion of film noir and an … Continue reading

Movie review: “Pitch Perfect 3”

If anybody actually asked for another Pitch Perfect movie, then they absolutely deserve what they got: a tone-deaf three-quel more thinly plotted than a grade-school revival of The Music Man as produced by Terrence Malick. The first installment a surprise hit that coasted on a novel combination of savvy music design and an affable cast … 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: “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: “Spider-Man: Homecoming”

The second-best Spidey flick (behind Spider-Man 2, natch), Spider-Man: Homecoming manages to do what Ant-Man did as a superhero flick, only better: tell more personal story on a smaller-scale with a focus on fun and depth. It’s equal parts John Hughes coming-of-age teen comedy and comic book popcorn drama. In a nice change of pace, … 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: “The Lego Batman Movie”

Though it’s not as consistently or as unrelentingly hilarious as The Lego Movie, Chris McKay’s comic book spin-off is nevertheless a clever and enjoyable spoof of comic book movies in general, and the Dark Knight in particular. After the morose beat-down that was the ludicrously self-important Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s a much needed … Continue reading

Movie review: “Sausage Party”

An eight-year passion project from the thoroughly baked minds of Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Evan Goldberg, Sausage Party is an hilariously vulgar and unabashedly pointed satire on religion and send-up of the Pixar formula. At last, an animated movie for those of us who have pondered the existential dread at the heart of the Toy … Continue reading

Movie review: “Ghostbusters”

Paul Feig’s relaunch of Ghostbusters was slimed by controversy from the get-go. Depending on whom you asked, it was A. Hollywood at its money-grabbing and creativity-bankrupt worst; B. a feminist broadsides of some sort; or C. some much-needed nostalgia subversion. Truth be told, it’s a little of each. It’s also what your average summertime megaplex fodder is supposed … Continue reading

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