REVIEW: Onward [2020]

Be Like Dad. It’s Ian Lightfoot’s (Tom Holland) sixteenth birthday and he’s hoping to make it count. He’s not about to go on a rager with friends, though. He’s way too introverted for that. Ian therefore merely seeks to conquer a few baby steps towards mild extroversion by putting on his late father’s college sweatshirt to boost confidence and check off some boxes on a list he wrote to change himself into the man he wishes he might become. That means standing up for himself when others treat him like…

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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: Child’s Play [1988]

I’ll be your friend to the end. The rough cut of Tom Holland‘s Child’s Play was around two hours and test audiences weren’t happy. Almost forty minutes were excised (and boy can you tell) before the film saw the light of day and eventually earned an insanely devoted cult following that’s seen six sequels (so far) with original screenwriter Don Mancini taking up the reigns for the last three. As such, it’s wild to think how different his initial draft was. Mancini first imagined a conceit that involved the transference…

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REVIEW: Avengers: Infinity War [2018]

He’s never fought me twice. It’s been ten years since we met Tony Stark on the big screen. Ten years of serial storytelling with massive budgets, character crossovers, television offshoots, and Stan Lee cameos that took Hollywood and the box office by storm. Not even steward Kevin Feige could have predicted that type of longevity with twenty films by 2018’s completion, but here he and we are at the culmination of all those carefully laid plans. It’s been an enjoyable journey with origin tales, rights swapping, tonal shifts, and more…

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REVIEW: Spider-Man: Homecoming [2017]

“Guy in the chair” Here’s an unpopular opinion for you: I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Yes, the one with a blue Jamie Foxx. The only reason I bring it up is to say even I was dreading the proposed villain team-up spin-off and inevitable trilogy capper seemingly arriving at a place wherein Peter Parker’s parents would reveal themselves as being crucial to whatever really happened with that fateful radioactive arachnid. But that doesn’t mean I wanted another reboot. It was bad enough Sony already scrapped one failed attempt at…

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REVIEW: The Lost City of Z [2017]

“We are all made from the same clay” I should have known The Lost City of Z wasn’t to be your regular old adventure picture of men on an expedition since James Gray was at the helm. He’s always been one for character studies delving deeper than the situation at hand to hit upon the emotional and psychological duress exhibited within. So even though he left New York City’s small-scale locale behind (as if The Immigrant could ever be called small-scale with its gorgeous period detail), the jungles of Brazil…

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REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War [2016]

“Victory at the expense of the innocent is no victory at all” We’ve officially approached the apex of the Marvel Cinematic Universe wherein films cannot be about one single character anymore. The Infinity Wars being just around the corner means that time has been regulated. There’s an endgame as there always has been and the pieces must be put into position now. What made The Avengers so great was that its endgame was merely to put Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and…

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REVIEW: Locke [2014]

**POSSIBLE SPOILERS** “So am I on a list?” There’s symmetry between the production of Steven Knight‘s Locke and its plot. Like the insane job everyone’s imploding over that its lead bails on while driving an hour away to be present at the birth of a child conceived with someone who’s not his wife, getting this film made was no walk in the park. For Knight it was an idea to strip down filmmaking sparked by the experience directing his debut Hummingbird and falling in love with the colorful reflections created…

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TIFF12 REVIEW: The Impossible [2012]

“Maybe tomorrow” Making a film about a tragedy like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami should never be taken lightly. With over 230,000 people dead in fourteen countries, the entire world was affected by this devastating event made worse due to its untimely December 26th date. An attempt to convey the emotions, pain, and hope hidden within could easily fall into manipulative territory, missing the point to become an exploitative moneymaking endeavor. So, it was with a skeptical soul that I went to the World Premiere at the Toronto International Film…

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