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This tag is associated with 21 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: “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: “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: “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: “The Predator”

The Predator is best watched with expectations checked. Writer-director Shane Black engages in cinematic cannibalism, lifting numerous tropes from past installments, as well as falling back on some of his go-to moves, up to and including a precocious moppet (twist: this one’s autistic), a squad of bad-ass soldiers (twist again: they’re all insane), and a … Continue reading

Movie review: “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”

[Note: This review contains potential spoilers.] Inconsequential, toothless, and unwilling to drift from the series’ safe space, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom doesn’t even satisfy the lowest of expectations. It’s a frustrating slog that plays like a two-hour teaser for the movie we really want to see. This time around, a volcano is on the verge … 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: “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: “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

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