Captain Marvel

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Captain Obvious

The best thing about the release of Captain Marvel is that it brings us one step closer to the end of the nonsensical internet drama surrounding it.  I won’t be going into that here, chiefly out of self-preservation, but a quick Google search should inform the more masochistic among you.  I’ll offer just one thought on the matter: things as trivial as superhero movies have no business being cultural battlegrounds.  Consequently, this review will only cover my thoughts on the movie itself – not its “impact,” nor “what it means,” nor “why it matters.” Continue reading

Glass

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The Cracks Begin to Show

In a way, the timing of Glass couldn’t be better.  When M. Night Shyamalan made his superhero subversion Unbreakable in 2000, he couldn’t possibly have predicted the current dominion superhero movies have over the film industry.  With the advent of Glass, he’s had eighteen years of new cultural DNA to analyze for the long-gestating conclusion of his trilogy.  Sadly, Glass ends up being the worst movie of the three. Continue reading

Aquaman

aquaman

I Come from a Land Down Under

There’s a shot early on in Aquaman that sums up the movie better than any review could.  Preparing for battle, an underwater cavalry unit enters formation, each soldier mounted astride a bus-sized great white shark.  One of the massive beasts, restrained by its rider, thrashes its head and roars.  It’s a moment that perfectly encapsulates the movie’s attitude: you’re either on board for all of this lunacy or none of it.  For me, the decision was easy. Continue reading

Avengers: Infinity War

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It seems that every Marvel movie somehow manages to generate even more hype than the last, and Avengers: Infinity War is no exception.  It’s the movie that the last dozen-or-so films of its universe have been leading up to, focusing on the titular band of superheroes doing battle with Thanos (Josh Brolin), the much-ballyhooed big-bad of the Marvel universe.  Infinity War brings with it the creative challenges posed by its two predecessors: juggling a massive cast of characters, maintaining a brisk pace for a hefty running time, and keeping the stakes high in a franchise that has rather cheapened the threat of global destruction. Continue reading

Black Panther

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The best movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, and now, Black Panther) all have a few things in common.  For one, they’re essentially standalone, requiring nothing from their audience other than a willingness to have fun.  Their other shared element is the introduction of a new world to their viewers.  For Iron Man, that was the then-new and exciting MCU itself; Guardians of the Galaxy created a colorful, pulpy version of outer space; and now, Black Panther gives us Wakanda, a fictional African country that plays at third-world poverty but boasts a technologically advanced society hidden from all other nations. Continue reading

The Fast and Fentress Worst of 2016

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A rather disappointing year for bad movies, 2016 saw plenty of unenjoyable dreck, but precious little in the so-bad-it’s-good category.  The ordering is a bit looser than that of my best-of, but in general, the quality of the movie goes down with each successive entry. Continue reading