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Wednesday, 22 June 2016 10:05

Fish out of water Finding Dory'

Pixar sequel an entertaining, emotionally charged offering

I'm in the bag for Pixar.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 15 June 2016 12:00

Now you don't Now You See Me 2'

Likeable, talented cast can't quite save magical misfire

The summer of 2016 has already seen a number of unnecessary sequels. Due to unanticipated degrees of box office success, certain movies have been tapped to receive sequels despite having already told their story to a more or less satisfactory conclusion. These non-franchise sequels almost always turn out to be disappointments.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 15 June 2016 11:53

Warcraft' what is it good for?

Video game adaptation offers interesting visuals, messy narrative

Video game adaptations have long been among the toughest nuts for Hollywood to crack. Despite the fact that video games have become one of the most massive entertainment industries in the world, with beloved franchises inspiring millions of people to spend billions of dollars, the transition from small screen to large has rarely been a successful one.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 08 June 2016 11:10

The empty emotions of Me Before You'

Manipulative, formulaic love story offers nothing genuine

Love stories are a foundational aspect of cinema. Even films that are ostensibly about something else tend to have romantic underpinnings that serve as a touchstone throughout, but capital-L Love Stories are kind of their own thing.

Published in Movies
Friday, 03 June 2016 19:10

Playing the shell game once again

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows'

The 2014 attempt to reboot the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a misfire pretty much across the board. The story was boring and barely coherent, the CGI bordered on the horrifying and the live-action performances ranged from disinterested to abysmal.

Published in Movies

Lonely Island-helmed mockumentary mines the music world for comedy gold

Few stylistic conventions provide more fertile ground for comedy than the mockumentary. It has proven a delightful playground for folks like Christopher Guest and his merry band of weirdos for many years.

Published in Movies
Friday, 27 May 2016 21:16

X-Men: Apocalypse' a bit X-cessive

Latest X-movie uneven, but still entertaining

The X-Men have had a bumpy ride on the big screen. The first 'X-Men' was a huge part in kickstarting the renaissance of now-ubiquitous superhero movies. However, the franchise took a nosedive with its third installment, necessitating a reboot with 2011's excellent 'Days of Future Past' and 2014's solid follow-up 'Days of Future Past.'

Published in Movies
Friday, 27 May 2016 21:13

Alice shouldn't live here anymore

'Alice Through the Looking Glass' a dull, dispirited mess

Sometimes, a sequel happens whether or not anyone really wants it to. A movie's success can be such that returning to the well simply cannot be avoided no matter how bad an idea that might prove to be.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 12:26

The Nice Guys' finish first

Buddy comedy an entertaining throwback

If you've watched and enjoyed any sort of action-oriented buddy comedy over the past three decades, you owe a debt of gratitude to Shane Black. Black's screenplay for 'Lethal Weapon' back in 1987 essentially defined that particular style; things have shifted and evolved in the 30 years since, but the basic DNA is still there.

Published in Movies

'Sorority Rising' a rehash, but not without its own crass charms

Here in the summer season, we talk a lot about the relative necessity of sequels; we see plenty of them during this segment of the cinematic calendar, after all. To be clear, this isn't about franchise-building. This is about sequels to films that, while successful to some degree, don't appear to really invite revisiting.

Published in Movies
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