REVIEW: Deadpool 2 [2018]

We can’t really live until we die a little. The biggest critical gripe coming out of the first Deadpool film was that its attempt to subvert the superhero genre was squandered by being a superhero film. What does that mean? It literally is a superhero film. The character is an X-Men alum who exists to fight bad guys (and good guys alike). So the plot was always going to follow a familiar arc towards finding redemption and/or revenge against those foes/friends. Where it diverted from the formula was its embracement…

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REVIEW: Ready Player One [2018]

Ninjas don’t hug. You can’t help but drown within the pop culture vacuum of Ernest Cline‘s Ready Player One while reading. He throws references left and right—most often for no other reason than to namedrop as though he’s racking up geek-cred points within a nonexistent game. There becomes such an influx of information that you begin to see just how flimsy and redundant the plot behind the superficial artifice is in its reworking of common dystopian tropes utilized to bestselling success in the YA world. It’s a thin veil similar…

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REVIEW: Goon: Last of the Enforcers [2017]

“What a great lockout” The best part of hockey comedy Goon is its ability to never forget itself. Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg didn’t write it (based on Adam Frattasio and Douglas Smith‘s non-fiction book) like your usual sports film where winning or losing was the goal. They instead brought to life a soft-spoken, compassionate guy whose only talent isn’t laying guys out on the ice like his bloodthirsty fans believe. No, Doug Glatt’s (Seann William Scott) calling is as protector for his family, friends, and teammates. He joined the…

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REVIEW: Transformers: Age of Extinction [2014]

“I know you have a conscience because you’re an inventor like me” There’s a problem when the first, expository-heavy hour of a three-hour Transformers action extravaganza shines above the rest. Michael Bay has looked upon this franchise from the start as an excuse to put explosions and destruction onscreen alongside cheesy and sometimes offensive comedy to satisfy the young children of parents (uninterested in shielding their ears from the oft swear word) that grew up in the 80s. He excelled at this mix with the first installment, casting the sarcastically…

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REVIEW: Deadpool [2016]

“Maximum effort” The fact Deadpool is in theaters should have fans and detractors of the superhero “genre” excited because it signals a burst of creativity within an otherwise stagnant artistic avenue. But don’t think it won’t still be a superhero movie. A lot of talk in the critical sphere revolves around how Tim Miller and Ryan Reynolds’ passion project “looks to subvert convention” yet “ends up just another comic book origin story.” Guess what? Deadpool is a comic book character. Just because he’s self-aware enough to mock his world’s tropes…

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REVIEW: Hell and Back [2015]

“If you’re a priest or a nun, that’s funny. You wasted your life.” You may have noticed posters for the R-rated, stop-motion animated comedy Hell and Back throughout the summer and fall seasons in anticipation of its October release only to find it didn’t come to a theater near you. It was released and took in about $150,000 on the few screens it graced to the chagrin of a ton of hopeful Nick Swardson fans complaining on the movie’s Facebook page about their inability to watch. So January 5th brings…

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REVIEW: The Gallows [2015]

“He’s going to choke like Charlie” Something doesn’t add up. It does if coincidence is the name of the game (and it is), but that doesn’t make it plausible to accept any revelations Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing deliver in Act III of The Gallows. It’s not ruining anything to say a main character is the kid of a classmate of deceased teen Charlie who died during a high school play in 1993. The filmmakers meticulously ensure we know there are twenty years between that performance and the current one,…

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REVIEW: Big Hero 6 [2014]

“One a scale of 1 to 10: how would you rate your pain?” Many parents aren’t going to allow their young children to watch Marvel Cinematic Universe films—they skew older with dark underlying themes and comic book violence that leaves beloved characters dead. So while Disney’s purchase of Marvel gave them boundless raw material to use in order to capture the attention of teens and everyone older, the question remained whether Mickey and friends could find something in the extensive catalog that would be suitable for their target audience. On…

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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: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World [2012]

“You were the love of my life” It’s easy to conjure images of post-apocalyptic wastelands, cryptic symbolism, and philosophical ruminations when one thinks about the end of the world. Hollywood uses this fascination to create science fiction actioners and depression-laden dramas each decade even though the layperson would never fall into such over-the-top cliché. Most John Q. Publics would let loose, create some sort of last minute bucket list, and live without consequence after years of cautious sacrifice and regret. Despite inevitable riots, chaos, and crime, one shouldn’t ignore the…

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REVIEW: Yogi Bear [2010]

“The microphone is on” I’m pretty sure I watched the old “Yogi Bear Show” cartoon from Hanna Barbera growing up, but I can’t recollect anything besides the titular character’s goofy voice and the park ranger constantly screaming his name in defeated angst. What I want to remember, however, is that it was good. Granted, I was young and not much was probably needed to keep me entertained and interested, but if the new live action/animated hybrid from visual effects superstar Eric Brevig gives any indication through ‘precise mirroring’ of its…

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