REVIEW: X-Men: The Last Stand [2006]

“Same as the Professor: visiting an old friend.” I’m sad to inform you that X-Men: The Last Stand did not age well. Not that anyone called it great when it was released—it was little more than serviceable then—but boy does it falter when viewed in close proximity with the two stellar entries coming before it. I’d like to blame Bryan Singer for jumping ship to DC so he could helm Superman Returns or even Matthew Vaughn and his family issues preventing him from taking the reins. Heck, I’d love to…

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REVIEW: X-Men 2 [2003]

“Nature laughs last” This is the one—the superhero movie unequaled in the decade since. The Dark Knight comes close, but it’s hard to hold Christopher Nolan‘s trilogy on par with the rest when it exists as a beast all its own. Only The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier found a way to match its scale and precision, falling ever so short on the emotional depth chart. X-Men 2 is simply a perfect storm of everything you could want in a film let alone one steeped in comic lore.…

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REVIEW: X-Men [2000]

“What do they call you? Wheels?” It’s hard to believe-fourteen years gone-that X-Men was the comic book property used to usher in our current “golden age” of superhero movies. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised considering it’s probably the most relatable due to its being devoid of flying aliens, radioactive spiders, and Gods. No, short of Batman transforming the memory his parents’ murder into the life of a vigilante, mutants are the most “human” creation Marvel or DC has created (at least to someone with barely a cursory knowledge of…

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REVIEW: The Wolverine [2013]

“Everything has a meaning” To think, just a few short years ago The Wolverine held infinite promise. Fox brought in Christopher McQuarrie to rekindle his X-Men involvement after uncredited work on pal Bryan Singer’s franchise starter and independent auteur Darren Aronofsky was tapped to finally get a comic book flick after losing out on a Batman: Year One go. Star Hugh Jackman was giddy in interviews about the visual aesthetic a Japanese setting would give—the film culls its material from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s Wolverine arc—as well as the…

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REVIEW: Down the Shore [2013]

“And the hero gets the girl, right?” After a longtime career as acting coach for the likes of Jet Li, Harold Guskin heads behind the camera for his directorial debut Down the Shore with the help of a contemporary acting giant at its lead. For James Gandolfini, life after “The Sopranos” has seen moderate success in roles not too far removed from his iconic Tony besides a much heavier infusion of comedy. In that vein, his boisterous, crude, and psychologically tormented assassin in Killing Them Softly showed a softer side…

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REVIEW: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters [2013]

“Never enter a house made of candy” The thing that’s so disappointing about Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is the rather ingenious premise at its back. Taking the classic Grimm Brothers tale and expanding on the results of what escaping an evil witch in the woods as children by burning her alive in an oven is so simple and obvious that it’s a wonder no one had thought of it before (not counting The Brothers Grimm). Credit Norwegian writer/director Tommy Wirkola for seeing the potential in transforming these scared kids…

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REVIEW: Taken [2008]

“Good luck” Mr. Pierre Morel, you have picked an express train to latch on to—good for you. Something about Luc Besson just works every single time. I’m sad that his declaration of being finished with the director’s chair may be true, however, his scripts are mounting and churning out entertaining action flicks. If you can get the Transporter series to make money from its wit and smart action, you know you are doing something right. I’ve yet to see these two guys’ first collaboration, District B13, but as far as…

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