“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” Review

If you’re still wondering why superhero movies are still prevalent and prospering in the face of saturation, it’s because many of the Marvel productions are experimenting and venturing down paths less explored for superhero cinema. In a year where Marvel has already shattered expectations with tales of politics (Black Panther) and pathos (Avengers: Infinity War), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is very much the most daring in scope, visuals, characters, and storytelling. All of this not only makes this movie the best animated film of the year but the best superhero film as well. Continue reading ““Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” Review”

“Creed II” Review

Creed II has everything I did and didn’t want in a sequel to the Rocky spin-off. While it does present Adonis Creed with another tough boxing challenge and ties directly into his lineage for being the son of Apollo, it also slips too comfortably into the old Rocky movies. The punches are heavier, the stakes are higher, and character drama is amplified to the point of being a melodrama. And while it certainly gets the job done as a blood-pumping pleaser, it does show a bit of wear and tear that threatens to take the Creed franchise down a peg into the lesser Rocky territory. Continue reading ““Creed II” Review”

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” Review

Prequels are tough to get into when you’re aware of everything that will happen to certain characters. The Crimes of Grindelwald seems to be trying to overwhelm the audience with too much lore and characters, as though it were conjuring a distraction from the rather dreary and feckless fantasy. Perhaps you’ll find yourself so busy trying to piece together all the character histories you won’t notice how muddled its storytelling is. No? What if the movie threw giant cats at the screen?
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“Ralph Breaks The Internet” Review

While the video game character Ralph expands his personality for breaking and wrecking into the vast landscape of the internet, his new journey comes off as more of a spiffy new coat of adventure than a major bug fix. It still has the same lingering issues of getting a little lost in its references and kicking subplots aside but the heart has been increased two sizes this sequel. It’s also really fun to watch this Disney Animation Studio film once more take jabs at their old tropes. Continue reading ““Ralph Breaks The Internet” Review”

“Overlord” Review

After having been beaten over the head with the absurdity of Nazi zombies in the likes of Wolfenstein and Dead Snow, along comes Overlord as the boldly brutal and earnest take on this odd little subgenre. It’s a bloody romp of bullets and monsters, yet never feels the need to come loaded with winks for the action. There’s enough trust that you’ll have fun with a half-faced Nazi villain and a kick-butt French villager brandishing a flamethrower.
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“The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” Review

Far from the grace of a ballet, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a gigantic smear of fantasy that puts in the minimal effort of adventure and inspiration. It’s sadly yet another property taken by Disney that comes with the best of intentions but the sloppiest of executions. A mere plugging in of all the predictable elements churns out a snoozer of a matinee, far too timid to be a Christmas classic or the exciting epic it aims to be.
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“Bohemian Rhapsody” Review

The best that can be said of the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, is that Rami Malek is fun to watch as Freddie Mercury. He has a lot of the power and vibrancy to rock the stage as the music legend who parades in tight pants and uses the microphone like a baton. That’s all well and good for a Queen tribute of sorts but it’s a bit of a shame that this movie only delivers the bare bones of the story behind the mustache and doesn’t bother to shake them as well as Malek can shake his pelvis.
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“Halloween” (2018) Review

Similar to the Godzilla saga, Halloween has gone through a number of different sequels and remakes over the decades. David Gordon Green’s Halloween, however, feels like the true sequel worthy of following the footsteps of the near-flawless slasher classic that started it all. Also like Godzilla, his version wipes the slate clean of every other sequel and remake. And while there’s still a fond place in my heart for Halloween II and the much-divergent Halloween III: Season of the Witch, there’s a pleasing charm to see a slasher revival get back to the basics while still reinventing itself.
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“First Man” Review

First Man doesn’t so much tell a straight story of Neil Armstrong’s mission to the moon as much as it tries to slip inside his mind, trying to feel every jolt of the cockpit and every sting of surrounding death. Director Damien Chazelle goes digging for an experience in Armstrong’s path which is certainly debatable in motivation but nevertheless keeps your eyes locked on the objective as strongly as Neil keeps focused. And for the direction Chazelle chooses to steer this towering biography, it’s a trip worth taking.
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“Venom” Review

What does a solo film about the Spider-Man villain Venom need to be a good film? After the trailer debut, I kept hearing the same things about the look of Venom, fans being excited that the movies had finally gotten the iconic comic book character right. Sure, in about a minute’s worth of footage, he looks great. It’s just the other 111 minutes to fill that the movie turns into a mess as sloshy and unstable as the very alien Symbiote that creates the anti-hero.
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