REVIEW: Shazam! [2019]

Come home. Two boys, decades apart, are taken to a magical realm known as The Rock of Eternity to confront its last wizard guardian (Djimon Hounsou) protecting against the seven deadly sins. One (Ethan Pugiotto‘s Thad) is revealed unworthy of becoming this magician’s champion because his soul isn’t pure. Too much anger and resentment for a belittling father and brother fills him with a desire for power, this latest rejection the final straw that ignites his devolution towards evil. The other (Asher Angel‘s Billy) can’t be tested since the darkness…

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REVIEW: Serenity [2019]

Go catch that fish, Dill. **Spoilers** I was rooting for Steven Knight‘s Serenity long before sitting down at the theater. Why wouldn’t I? The trailer had it looking like one of my favorite types of films—namely the sort wherein what we see and experience ultimately proves to be the inner-workings of a troubled, delusional mind. I clung to this belief that there would be more than meets the eye even tighter upon hearing how stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway got angry at Aviron Pictures for canceling their planned press…

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REVIEW: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword [2017]

“We all look away” The magic has once again been returned to the lore of Excalibur in a way that brings it closer to World of Warcraft mysticism than Sword in the Stone trickery—for better or worse depending on your interests. I for one actually liked Antoine Fuqua‘s King Arthur from 2004, its decision to do away with the spells not wholly destructive to the very fabric of the myth like removing the Gods was to the debacle that is Troy (rather than an expertly placed hit, its ankle shot…

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REVIEW: The Legend of Tarzan [2016]

“Look at his hands” The film wasn’t even over before an older woman sitting a row away loudly exclaimed, “I’m exhausted.” I chuckled to myself at the exasperation shown for what wasn’t even a two-hour movie, but quickly realized she wasn’t wrong. I felt a bit drained myself trying to figure out what part of The Legend of Tarzan director David Yates wanted me to care about. Was it the relationship between Tarzan aka John Clayton III (Alexander Skarsgård) and his wife Jane (Margot Robbie) and their bond’s strength when…

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REVIEW: Furious 7 [2015]

“You never could take a punch” There’s something about this series that’s transcended any intellectual discussion about cinema. How else does a lamely derivative version of Point Break substituting waves with cars spawn six sequels in fifteen years? Think about that. 2 Fast 2 Furious was so bad that star Vin Diesel turned down a twenty-five million dollar payday to be in it. Then the third entry threw everything out the window but horsepower and took things international across the Pacific. This is where the taste of its potential began,…

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REVIEW: Guardians of the Galaxy [2014]

“I don’t learn” It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the best Marvel film to date would be one without a single recognizable character to anyone not already a fan. Guardians of the Galaxy has been around since 1969, but it’s the 2008 iteration by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning which struck the studio’s fancy as far as opening their cinematic universe wide open. There’s still a tenuous connection to Earth with the group’s default leader being a human snatched as a child by a Ravager ship, yet this detail…

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REVIEW: How to Train Your Dragon 2 [2014]

“What you’re searching for is in here” With ten children’s books already published—and two more planned—Cressida Cowell has given Dreamworks animation a ton of material to adapt whether adhered to religiously or not. Their success on How to Train Your Dragon caught many off guard while earning a place in the hearts of children and adults alike on the way to two Oscar nominations and a television series spin-off. The announcement of a sequel was therefore inevitable, the idea to craft it into a trilogy unsurprising as well besides the…

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REVIEW: Constantine [2005]

“You still trying to buy your way into Heaven” At the height of the first new wave of comic book adaptations, Warner Bros. delved a little deeper into the literary medium’s annals for something dark like New Line’s Blade. It was three years before Iron Man ushered in cinematic universes and a year after Spider-Man 2 and X2 provided a one-two punch of the genre’s potential. Batman Begins was always going to be the studio’s 2005 crown jewel, but you could call Constantine a precursor to its pitch-black, cynical atmosphere…

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REVIEW: Stargate [1994]

“I’m here in case you succeed” Could anyone have fathomed Stargate spawning a legion of television series and huge cult sci-fi following back in 1994? It came from writer/director Roland Emmerich after all, a man that had a German language feature and four in English, all ill received, behind him. Who knew he’d one day become the guy for big budget Hollywood end-of-the-world scenarios? Well at least a tag team partner of Captain Destruction Michael Bay. My first thought when sitting down to view this modern day classic—at the behest…

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REVIEW: Push [2009]

“It’s a shiny, shimmery bead” So, I’ll just come out and say it … I enjoyed Lucky Number Slevin. It was stylish, Ben Kingsley was a good kind of hammy, and Josh Hartnett’s penchant for wooden acting worked with the character. You know another thing I really enjoy? That little television show called “Heroes”. Trust me, it’s a goodie. Why do I say all this? Well because director Paul McGuigan has taken his action-infused storytelling to the new film Push, basically using a similar premise as the before mentioned NBC…

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REVIEW: Blood Diamond [2006]

“Bling, Bang” Here we have Hollywood’s newest addition to the agenda driven film, trying to get people’s attention to the plight of Africa. The trailers had me intrigued, but the press stemmed much of that anticipation as most I heard talked about how preachy the movie was, with its only concern being to show Americans the death and destruction that went into their precious engagement ring. I am a big fan of the three principal actors, however, and I tried to leave all the critic’s words home when going out…

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