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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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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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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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 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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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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If yet another remake of A Star is Born seems like one too many, consider Sam Elliott’s words in the film about the nature of musicians. All songs have a somewhat similar construction and it’s all up to the artist to interpret it their own way. And director Bradley Cooper certainly gives this old story a flavor all its own, sparkling with fantastic songs, character chemistry, and a skillfully edited presentation. At the center is Lady Gaga, taking her well-established singing abilities to the big screen. Can she act as well as she sings? After this film, there’s little doubt she was destined to be an actor. The film’s title couldn’t be any more fitting for her. Continue reading ““A Star is Born” Review”
There’s something so unbelievably bonkers about Shane Black’s take on Predator that make it narrowly fun amid its messy hit-or-miss method. Rather than go for a more modern and serious retread of the classic action tale of gun-toting soldiers versus high-tech alien hunter, Black throws his picture so far deep into the pool of zany it should come labeled as a comedy, decked out with much winking in its silly banter and over-the-top gore. And sometimes, amid the massive mess of this nutty production, it works.
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The Happytime Murders is all about subversion and relies on it to carry through with a raunchy comedy. We’ve become used to seeing Jim Henson productions of colorful puppets have a wholesome tone that I’m sure it was a delightful shock to advertise that Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson and director of The Muppet Christmas Carol, would make something so filthy. Indeed, the movie does feature felt figures having sex, taking drugs, and pushing the profanity. And, unfortunately, that’s all it has to offer. No engaging story, no interesting characters; just puppets cursing and ejaculating silly-string.
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If modern romantic comedies seem cheaply assembled with contorted premises for laughs and kisses, Crazy Rich Asians is a classic return to the most decadent of rom-com cinema. No expense has been spared to present one of the most lavish, sweet, and memorable films, past a breezy and beautiful date night experience. You don’t need to be Asian, rich, or even crazy to appreciate this modern fairytale.
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