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Average User Score: 6.1Jun 11, 2018A first, I kept a running tally of all the things 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' did poorly. After a while, I figured it was just easier to keepA first, I kept a running tally of all the things 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' did poorly. After a while, I figured it was just easier to keep track of anything 'Solo' happened to do well, and in the end there wasn't a whole lot to remember.
I understand why Disney wants the Star Wars franchise to take on a darker, grittier tone. Just look at how well that worked out for Nolan's Batman franchise. But just making a film's visual aesthetic literally dark--or perhaps a better adjective in this case would be drab--does not somehow automatically make it gritty. I'll also never understand why nobody involved with the film insisted that Alden Ehrenreich, a talented actor who plays a young Han Solo, take on any of Harrison Ford's signature affectations. Compare this to Donald Glover, who is instantly recognizable as a young Lando Calrissian, and the decision becomes even more maddening. The result is that for over two hours it feels like we're just watching some newcomer to the Star Wars universe do some vaguely Star Wars-like things to impotent effect.… Expand
Average User Score: 3.8Jun 5, 2018'Action Point' is Johnny Knoxville's fictional take on the real life Action Park, the notorious amusement park in Vernon, New Jersey, that was'Action Point' is Johnny Knoxville's fictional take on the real life Action Park, the notorious amusement park in Vernon, New Jersey, that was largely considered to be amongst the most dangerous ever conceived.
If Johnny Knoxville had grown up a Jersey kid, Action Park would've surely been his Shangri-La. But the fictionalized story just doesn't do either justice. The narrative is about as simple as it can possible get. And there aren't enough Jackass-type stunts to make up for the lack of a compelling story. So the movie--like Johnny--ends up falling on its back.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.7Jun 1, 2018'Upgrade' is a hybrid action/comedy/horror flick written and directed by Leigh Whannell, who previously brought us the highly successful 'Saw''Upgrade' is a hybrid action/comedy/horror flick written and directed by Leigh Whannell, who previously brought us the highly successful 'Saw' and 'Insidious' franchises.
It stars Logan Marshall-Green, who shall forever be known as Tom Hardy's doppelganger (seriously--compare photos), opposite Betty Gabriel, a rising star famous for her turn in the breakout hit 'Get Out.'
While the acting and overall concept are both quite remarkable, there's an unmistakable clunkiness to the film, alternating between the dialogue, blocking, and editing. However, the cinematography is superb, especially on such a low budget, and the action sequences when the bio-mechanical aspect of the film are fully utilized simply aren't to be missed.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.8May 21, 2018When considering ‘Deadpool 2,’ there hasn’t been another superhero sequel as good if not better than the original since Christopher NolanWhen considering ‘Deadpool 2,’ there hasn’t been another superhero sequel as good if not better than the original since Christopher Nolan flexed his muscles in the genre with ‘The Dark Knight.’
The main body of ‘Deadpool 2’ blends together the action, plot and soundtrack to such a high degree that it’s virtually unparalleled compared to other films. From recent memory, the only other film that comes close—besides the first Deadpool—was last year’s ‘Baby Driver.’
The film’s dialogue is packed with movie references, nods at pop culture, and even jokes at Ryan Reynold’s own expense, so much so that a second viewing would absolutely be necessary to try and catch them all.
The movie isn’t perfect. For example, the first half of Cable’s storyline feels a bit disjointed from the rest of the film. However, it steadily becomes increasingly well integrated over time.
However, for a franchise that prides itself on violent irreverence, it’d be unthinkable to assume that they were capable of making audiences well up with emotion at the end, yet they had the entire theater choking back tears, a rare achievement that strongly rounds out this film and places amongst the best in its class.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6May 11, 2018'Avengers: Infinity War' smashed the box office record for biggest opening weekend taking in $258 million on its way to sprinting past a'Avengers: Infinity War' smashed the box office record for biggest opening weekend taking in $258 million on its way to sprinting past a billion dollars in worldwide receipts, becoming the fastest movie ever to do so.
The writing, visual effects, and a truly overwhelming amount of star power all make this film worthy of holding the title of reigning box office king. But my predominant thought leaving the theater was wondering who the hell could possibly follow the film's dizzying two-and-a-half hour story arc ... much less all the individual Marvel story arcs that preceded it, considering 'Infinity War' is the culmination of 18 different superhero movies. I recognized most of the actors (and most of their characters). But when you have three or four (?) different groups of heroes fighting three or four (?) different groups of baddies on three or four (?) different planets the film quickly turns into an all-you-can-eat buffet of action that, while still very appetizing, is quite a different experience than that of a neatly composed--and somewhat moderately portioned--meal.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.4Apr 12, 2018'The Death of Stalin' is the kind of film that makes you want to climb inside the head of the writer/director--in this case Armando'The Death of Stalin' is the kind of film that makes you want to climb inside the head of the writer/director--in this case Armando Iannucci--and probe all the little dials and sprockets and gears to see what makes him tick.
Iannucci somehow manages to create a wholly original and surreal work of power-mongering satire steeped in dark humor and absurdism while perfectly blending together the largely true events surrounding Stalin's death.
Add to that a powerhouse cast of dry comedy and improvisation, including Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, and Michael Palin, combined with magnificent settings, and 'The Death of Stalin' immediately becomes this year's hidden gem of the season.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Apr 5, 2018‘Isle of Dogs’ is going to most readily be compared to 2009’s ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, Wes Anderson’s first stop motion picture, and given that‘Isle of Dogs’ is going to most readily be compared to 2009’s ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, Wes Anderson’s first stop motion picture, and given that the former is Anderson’s second time trying his hand at stop motion, one would expect both the technical and artistic aspects of the film to be of greater sophistication. Simply put, Anderson succeeds on both fronts.
Setting the film abroad in Japan poses numerous language and translation issues that have to be addressed throughout the film, and Anderson nimbly uses it to his advantage. Furthermore, each of the dogs is given a meaningful amount of depth and characterization. That being said, there were a handful of times I felt my attention drifting throughout the movie, and I found myself less emotionally invested in the plight of the characters as the film went on. In the end, Anderson has brought to us another prototypical Wes Anderson film, a unique combination of his particular form and function that we’ve come to know and enjoy, so while I certainly recommend seeing the film, I think it would really take being a dog lover to really love this movie.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.7Mar 16, 2018I'm happy for 'Black Panther.' Money talks, and right now the film's box office dominance is sending a powerful and culturally importantI'm happy for 'Black Panther.' Money talks, and right now the film's box office dominance is sending a powerful and culturally important message to Hollywood and beyond. Stories of all colors and stripes are waiting to be told, and cinema fans are pining for fresh takes and innovative ways to convey those tales.
However--one way or the other--box office results should never be mistaken for a barometer of a film's quality. 'Black Panther' brings the fictional nation of Wakanda to life while shining a bright light on a handful of social justice issues that desperately need to be addressed. I particularly like their bad-ass female version of the Praetorian guard. But in end, those highlights aren't enough to overcome the handful of illogical moments scattered throughout the plot, the hewing of action scenes towards a more juvenile audience, and the frequently lame dialogue in which Michael B. Jordan's character is easily the worst offender.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.9Mar 10, 2018'Red Sparrow' is a familiar U.S.-Russian spy thriller based on the 2013 novel of the same name.
Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton both'Red Sparrow' is a familiar U.S.-Russian spy thriller based on the 2013 novel of the same name.
Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton both excel in their roles, with Lawrence playing a ballerina turned state sponsored seductress tasked with prying information out of CIA agent Edgerton. At this point, no amount of intensity or nuance is beyond their acting range, which should come as no surprise to anyone following their careers. The problem with 'Red Sparrow' lay in its plot, most notably in the complete lack of subtlety when unfurling certain plot points in an attempt to ramp up the drama. Perhaps it works better in the novel, where the actions of the spymasters are confined to the boundaries of one's own imagination. Regardless, a keen eye for editorial discretion is key. Case in point: the ending flirted with sheer brilliance, and audience members might've actually been able to appreciate it had they not been shell-shocked by a bizarre and completely nonsensical incestuous kiss leading up to the finale.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.2Feb 27, 2018"Am I you? Are you me?"
These are the pivotal words spoken late in 'Annihilation,' Alex Garland's directorial follow-up to his breakout hit"Am I you? Are you me?"
These are the pivotal words spoken late in 'Annihilation,' Alex Garland's directorial follow-up to his breakout hit 'Ex Machina.'
The film is unequivocally high-concept--perhaps too much for its own good--in a dazzlingly-shot, heady sci-fi thriller. The more one understands biology--specifically cell biology--the more one is able to appreciate how tightly woven the plot is, and how insanely clever and audacious the ending turns out to be.… Expand