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Movie Review: X-Men: Apocalypse

Movie Review: X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse is the culmination of all the wrong-headed moves that have kept the X-Men movies from becoming more than 2nd string superhero movies. Some of them have been good, some of them have been downright bad, but none of them have ever really hit that high mark you might find in the Marvel/Disney cinematic universe. The problems stem from too many characters left undeveloped, uninteresting action, overly complicated plots, taking themselves waaaay too seriously, and coasting on the charisma of one character that rhymes with Schmulverine and the actor whose name rhymes with Schmugh Schmackman. They have done some things right,...

Movie Review: The Nice Guys

Movie Review: The Nice Guys

Shane Black’s 2005 pulpy noir-mystery, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was a funny, surprising little movie. Robert Downey Jr. (before he was Iron Man) plays Harry Lockhart and Val Kilmer (after he was Batman) plays the private investigator “Gay” Perri. They’re teamed up by a Hollywood producer so that Harry can learn the basics of being a detective for a role he’s been cast in, but very quickly stumble into a very real murder mystery. Now, Black is back in the director’s chair and he’s decided to make another movie about an unlikely pair investigating something that should be benign, but quickly spirals into something much bigger, and...

Movie Review: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Movie Review: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

  Hoo boy, a lot to unpack here. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, is the follow-up to 2013’s Man of Steel, the movie which dared to ask, “What if Superman 9/11-ed Metropolis?” Now, Superman must contend with a public that questions if he is worthy of their trust, debates over whether he should continue being a hero, and suddenly it seems like there’s more meta-context here than actual plot. Because really, this is going to be the main storyline of the DC cinematic universe (Suicide Squad being relatively tangential and a completely different kind of mess to unwrap) and yet we’ve still got nothing of substance from the...

Movie Review: The Revenant

Movie Review: The Revenant

  The Revenant is the most recent movie by Alejandro González Iñárritu. It starts Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, a tracker hired to help a group of trappers hunting in the wilderness for beaver pelts. After a vicious raid by Native Americans, the few surviving trappers need to circle around to get back to their outpost before they’re caught and promptly scalped. Things go south when Hugh is mauled by a bear and has to be carried. Unwilling to risk himself for Glass, the trapper Fitzgerald tries to put Glass out his misery but gets caught by Glass’s son who he in turn, silences. Miraculously, Glass survives through it all with...

Movie Review: In the Heart of the Sea

Movie Review: In the Heart of the Sea

Back in the early 19th century, whaling was a massive and dangerous industry. Whale oil was a precious commodity, used for oil lamps and soaps. The inherent risks and general hard labor required for expeditions meant that the sailors recruited were usually those who didn’t have many other options or were born into the job. There’s an interesting story to be had in a whaler’s life, and that’s exactly what Herman Melville is looking for when he meets Thomas Nickerson, a man who spent his formative years hunting one particular whale. His story begins with Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) heading out for one last whaling trip, ensuring...

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