REVIEW: Spider-Man: Far From Home [2019]

Please stop saying tingle. **There will obviously be Endgame spoilers.** It’s a post-“blip” world (the word humanity has agreed upon as a stand-in for the five-year period where half of world’s population disappeared at the snap of Thanos’ fingers) and the usual faces are gone. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) can no longer rely on Steve Rogers’ idealism, Natasha Romanoff’s loyalty, or Tony Stark’s genius as a last line of defense when Earth is challenged with a force the boots on the ground simply cannot handle. Captain Marvel is off…

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REVIEW: They Came Together [2014]

“I admire your spirit” It’s one thing to satirize the romantic comedy genre and a whole other to literally break it down into its myriad tropes to build a story around them without transforming their generic designations into fully formed characters. But that’s exactly what David Wain (co-writer/director) and Michael Showalter (co-writer) did with They Came Together. It’s so transparent in its commentary that I was surprised they gave leading male Joel’s (Paul Rudd) brother (Max Greenfield‘s Jake) a name. The two men are so invested in calling each other…

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INTERVIEW: Kris Swanberg, director/cowriter of Unexpected

A hit at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival now getting a limited release from The Film Arcade, Unexpected proves a welcome breath of fresh air for stories dealing with pregnancy against the usual romantic comedy fare usurping the plot point for cheap laughs. Director/cowriter Kris Swanberg utilized her own experiences as a mom and from teaching within the Chicago Public School system as a basis for her look at a teacher and student bonding over their shared nine-month journeys to motherhood. Steeped in reality and performed with authenticity by a…

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REVIEW: Unexpected [2015]

“I don’t know what’s going on with the bananas at Trader Joe’s right now” Yes Kris Swanberg‘s Unexpected revolves around two surprise pregnancies and the mothers-to-be reacting to brand new futures set before them. However, it doesn’t use that premise to build a tower of clichés for us to watch topple to the ground in tragedy or remain erect via zany shenanigans like so many other films utilizing pregnancy as a plot device before it. Instead Swanberg and cowriter Megan Mercier take pains to deliver this unpredictable, anxious, and highly…

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REVIEW: Captain America: The Winter Soldier [2014]

“I thought you were more than just a shield?” Despite what’s been said the past couple weeks, Marvel still hasn’t released that “A” film quite yet. Don’t get me wrong: the universe they have created is unparalleled and possessed by a consistency of success on par with Disney’s other child Pixar, but has there been a The Dark Knight? An X-Men 2 even? Not yet. The closest we’ve come is probably The Avengers for finding a way to integrate the many disparate storylines into the series’ most standalone feature to…

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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: The Slammin’ Salmon [2009]

“Feed my pretties—Feed!” Those Broken Lizard boys had quite the run. After needing to visit colleges for screenings of their debut Puddle Cruiser, the comedy troupe struck it big with Super Troopers, in effect giving them free reign to see both follow-ups have their day in multiplexes, albeit to low returns. As a result—Club Dread is admittedly weak, but Beerfest found some of that magic from their Trooper days—the new flick wasn’t given a wide release, instead relegated to DVD and the hopes word of mouth and fan base will…

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