“Alita: Battle Angel” Review

A long time ago, I heard tell of James Cameron stating his desires to make a movie based off the manga and anime Battle Angel: Alita. I doubted it. This was the era where there was also news swirling of a Neon Genesis Evangelion movie. Cameron still seemed committed to the idea but his schedule grew busier with his underwater documentaries and directing another box office titan, Avatar. But he kept his word and now we have what is perhaps one of the most faithful American adaptations of a Japanese manga and anime. Continue reading ““Alita: Battle Angel” Review”

“Glass” Review

There’s a lot of potential in a film like Glass to be M. Night Shyamalan’s best film as a crossover of Unbreakable and Split. Assembled are three top notch actors handed meaty roles of super-powered people with conflicting views of the world. All the ingredients are there for a brilliantly terrifying and insightful film of superheroes and supervillains but all Shyamalan seems to do with the material is throw it in a comic book pressure cooker set to the mildest of settings that even his twist comes off more disappointing than insane. Continue reading ““Glass” Review”

“Aquaman” Review

I dread making this statement but I feel as though I must; I dug Aquaman before he was cool. At least the cool that I’m sure many are experiencing with James Wan’s Aquaman movie, championing the media stigma of his past appearance on Super Friends making him look like a dope. Consider how the oceans are vast and not entirely explored a realm, teaming with untold discoveries. Also consider how Aquaman wields over this domain with his best girl Mera, able to control water to such a degree she could remove all of it from the human body in a few seconds. Wan is aware of all this and taps all the potential an Aquaman movie is worth, patchy and messy as it may be. Continue reading ““Aquaman” Review”

“Bumblebee” Review

Bumblebee has a very, very low bar too cross to be competent. Michael Bay has developed the Transformers franchise into an incoherent mess of subplots, cynicism, clunky robots, and product placement that another director would have to actively be trying to make a more terrible film than his many entries. While I’d applaud director Travis Knight for taking a machete to the Transformers insanity and bringing in some much-needed heart, I wish I could applaud him for more than that, merely turning in a lukewarm tale of a kid and her robot. Continue reading ““Bumblebee” Review”

“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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“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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“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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“The Predator” 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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