REVIEW: Captain Marvel [2019]

I’m not what you think I am. With the snap of his fingers, Thanos made half of Earth’s population disappear. It was the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most harrowing climactic cliffhanger and it did possess an emotional response despite knowing most if not all of our beloved characters would find their way back before the war was officially over. With so many broken heroes, however, who could lead the necessary response? Tony Stark? Steve Rogers? No. When Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) saw what was happening, neither of them was on…

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REVIEW: Very Good Girls [2014]

“You didn’t want to stay and see what your special prize would be?” Writer/director Naomi Foner wants to tell us about the messiness of life through two eighteen-year old girls during their final summer before college. You’d assume they’d be the ideal candidates to do so too once they simultaneously make a pact to lose their virginity and meet the guy of both their dreams, but Very Good Girls refuses to let the ramifications of that stand on their own. Instead Foner adds parental infidelity, untimely death, sexual harassment, and…

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REVIEW: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer [2011]

“I also have this gun …” Okay, it may be a glorified commercial for Acura, but A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer is like the title says: funny. Using the same crew as The Consultant—director Leythum and writer Eric Pearson—the interlude bridging Agent Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) appearance in Iron Man 2 with Thor utilizes all fresh material this time. It’s slight, goofy, and very self-conscious, but I can’t help feeling amused and satisfied nonetheless. My only qualm is in wondering why it took so long to…

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REVIEW: The Consultant [2011]

“I do a great patsy” The Marvel Cinematic Universe is something special—a franchise devoid of ceiling that has become Hollywood’s equivalent to a motion comic. Looking at it today, you can’t help but admire what they’re doing and how far their reach extends. There are the highly anticipated films each year, a dedicated TV show to provide a venue for more details behind the scenes, and a series of “One-Shots” released on the DVDs as gap-filling accompaniments. Suffice it to say, I was very excited to finally check out the…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: Labor Day [2013]

“I understood who my real family was: her.” If anyone questioned whether or not Jason Reitman was truly a great director or merely someone with excellent luck at choosing projects—I remember thinking his Best Director nod for Juno was premature myself—Labor Day should set the record straight. And that’s despite his introduction before its third screening at the Toronto International Film Festival thanking his crew for making it seem he knew what he was doing. It’s very much a different beast than his previous works, pushing comedy to the side…

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REVIEW: Much Ado About Nothing [2013]

“Get thee a wife!” Writer/director Joss Whedon finished principal photography on the most expensive and complex project of his career only to find himself starring a contractually obligated vacation in the face before beginning post-production. The Avengers had him contending with multiple superstar celebrities inside a computer-effects heavy world the likes of which a television career that utilized much of the same talent never came close to reaching. While no one would have blamed him for holing up on some beach to relax with his family, Whedon had other ideas.…

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REVIEW: The Avengers [2012]

“In the end you’ll always kneel” It’s hard to believe the new Marvel cinematic canon began just four years ago—if anything just for the simple fact these actors have been contractually obligated to continuously work in the world for its duration. The new The Incredible Hulk released with much less poetic atmosphere and more action-based aesthetic akin to the universe the studio now wished to portray than Ang Lee‘s foray from 2003 and a comic tone was cemented in arguably the series’ best entry, Iron Man. Subsequently followed by Thor,…

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REVIEW: Thor [2011]

“Unworthy of the loved ones you’ve betrayed” Considering the extent of my knowledge on Thor pertains to the fantasy that Vincent D’Onofrio was he in Adventures in Babysitting, you will not be getting any grand breakdown comparison of the film with the comics. I just don’t know anything about the source material, much like all the DC and Marvel films coming out the past decade—I simply didn’t start reading comics until college and by then it was just graphic novels. So my entry into the world of Asgard came from…

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REVIEW: Choke [2008]

“Think Gilligan meets Groundhogs Day–in hell” It took almost a decade for a second movie to come out from the literary source that is Chuck Palahniuk. David Fincher owned Fight Club, making it a cinematic wonder, enhancing the novel and becoming a wonderful companion to it. Rumors swirled afterwards about all his other stories being optioned for film translation, but after 9-11 halted Survivor’s chances and Invisible Monsters’ progress ended, it didn’t seem good. But here comes 2008, with an unlikely savior in Clark Gregg, and all of a sudden…

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REVIEW: Iron Man [2008]

“Don’t waste it” There was a big question mark looming over the theatrical adaptation of Marvel’s Iron Man property. It was in the guise of director Jon Favreau. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the Favs, but when I heard he was helming a big budget comic book flick … let’s just say I was a little worried. Once his cast was set and the fanboys started humming across the internet I started to ease into the decision with high anticipation. Thankfully, after finally seeing the finished product, I…

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REVIEW: The Air I Breathe [2008]

“Happiness, Pleasure, Sorrow, Love” First-time director Jieho Lee has brought us the next installment of the multiple stories genre threaded together as though fate and coincidence are the name of the game. This type of narrative has been around for a long time, most definitely before Robert Altman’s Short Cuts, but at least there is an example from 15 years ago, and I can’t rack the brains for an earlier one at this time. The most well known to those out there today is of course Oscar-winner Crash. Lee’s The…

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