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HBOWatch Movie Review: “Assassin’s Creed”

HBOWatch Movie Review: “Assassin’s Creed”

To say that the genre of feature films based on video games has a problematic history would be an understatement. It is filled with colossal critical failures, including Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter. Some of the more tolerable entries in the field were the serviceable Lara Croft (2001), which included a swaggering turn by Angelina Jolie and a fun supporting performance by a pre-Bond Daniel Craig. Then there was Resident Evil (2002), which was decent, if not great, but which has suffered from diminishing returns on its sequels. Over the years, I kept waiting for the film that would do for video games what Richard Donner’s Superman...

Movie Review: “The Conjuring 2”

Movie Review: “The Conjuring 2”

Real life husband and wife Ed and Elaine Warren became famous for investigating high-profile cases of the paranormal, most notably The Amityville case. In their 2013 film, The Conjuring, director James Wan and writers Chad and Carey Hayes focused on the Perron family haunting in Rhode Island. After sitting out the 2014 spinoff prequel film Annabelle, Wan and the Hayes return for The Conjuring 2, once again focusing on the Warrens. This time, Ed and Elaine (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, pictured) are called to the U.K. for a case that would later be known as The Enfield Poltergeist.  The poltergeist activity centers on the...

Movie Review: Suicide Squad

Movie Review: Suicide Squad

In DC Comics canon, the Suicide Squad (in its most famous iteration) is a team of villains gathered by the government to undertake secret and dangerous missions. Unlike the Justice League, the heroes of Suicide Squad do not join willingly, out of a sense of duty. In fact, they are not heroes, at all. They are there because they’ve committed crimes and want to regain their freedom, and sometimes because they’ve been threatened/blackmailed into joining. In its most recent slate of live action films, DC introduced Batman, Wonder Woman, and the possibility of the Justice League in 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice....

Movie Review: Keanu

Movie Review: Keanu

After making a name for themselves on the Fox sketch comedy series Mad TV, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele broke out on their own in the critically acclaimed series Key & Peele. For five seasons, the two took on issues from a uniquely ridiculous and insightful perspective. For their first big screen collaboration, Key and Peele opted for full-on surrealism. Keanu is the tale of a recently dumped sad sack named Rell (Peele). Initially unable to move on, Rell finds new meaning in his life when he comes across an adorable kitten on his doorstep, the titular Keanu. Rell quickly bonds with the cat and delights in his little...

HBO Films: All the Way – Review

HBO Films: All the Way – Review

Much like Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film Lincoln, HBO’s adaptation of the Broadway hit play All the Way focuses on the role a President plays in the advancement and expansion of human rights. It is a role often caught between the tide of human progress and the regressive Old Guard. How much can one person do, given the checks in the system? What is the best approach to push forward a party’s agenda? Films like Lincoln and All the Way highlight the struggle between the radicals and the moderates within a party, often chiding the latter for their impatience and lack of tact and pragmatism. Here, the President is Lyndon Baines...

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