Category Archives: Review
In a way, my hazy memory of 2017’s supernatural horror film It helped me to appreciate the themes in Chapter 2. Character names started to pop up in my head before they were spoken. And a brief flashback brought back to mind some of the past events along with the emotions tied to them. As referenced in It Chapter 2, our memory works to hold onto things that are meaningful to us like significant childhood moments. In other instances, traumatic memories are suppressed until a picture, object, sound or even a smell, triggers it bringing back all the old feelings that were once buried. Repressing memories is a mechanism to help people cope and avoid confronting a stressful or painful incidence. It Chapter 2 takes us back to Derry, Maine where the “Losers’ Club” have to confront what they thought they’ve left behind. Read the rest of this entry
Avengers: Endgame is one of the most anticipated movies in recent memory. From the start, Marvel Studios made fans aware that the movies were building towards an epic story as part of their ambitious, shared cinematic universe. Respecting the source material, Marvel Studios adapted a roster of comic book superheroes for a modern audience. As fans became more invested which each new franchise, including superheroes that were not widely popular, Marvel’s momentum continued to grow. With Endgame, not only has the anticipation greatly risen so has the expectation for an emotionally satisfying and meaningful conclusion to the Infinity Stones story line.
Upgrade (2018) is a cyberpunk thriller that paints a murky outlook on technologically enhanced humans in the near-future. Self-driving vehicles, VR technology and artificial intelligence are already a reality today. Just imagine how much further we will have developed and integrated these technologies in the years to come. The believable aspects to the futuristic setting in Upgrade adds to the disconcerting anxiousness to what could be in store for the next stage in humanity.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part recaptures the feel-good energy of the first film, although it’s not as refreshingly humorous. Part of the reason is it’s really hard to recreate that lightning in a bottle again even if the same successful elements are mostly present.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an animated superhero movie that will be referenced by fans and cultural commentators for many years to come. The film takes the popular formula of a coming of age meets superhero origin story but tells it through a fresh, bright-eyed perspective. Miles Morales as a new Spider-Man and Peter Parker (also Spider-Man), team up when their alternate universes collide. The hallmarks of what makes a good Spider-Man movie are in Spider-Verse. There is plenty of web-slinging action presented through visually stunning animation. The story has enough heart and depth to engage viewers of all ages. Overall, the quality of the story, voice-acting and presentation is far above what one might expect from an animated superhero movie.
And now for something completely … well different. Nicolas Cage’s latest film Mandy is a wild, captivating trip. More specifically it’s an acid trip filled with hallucinatory visuals and an otherworldly vibe as if torn from the pages of a cosmic horror novel.
Tom Cruise may be in his mid-fifties but there is no slowing down the Mission Impossible franchise. Mission Impossible: Fallout, the sixth film in the series, brings plenty of excitement which fans have come to expect: high speed chases through iconic cities, a nail-biting race against a countdown clock, and spy thriller twists.
The production of Solo: A Star Wars Story was a bumpy ride. Original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, best known for their comedic movies, were replaced by Ron Howard and extensive reshoots had to be done. Reportedly, the production was chaotic before Howard took over. With all this in mind, I was “bracing for impact”. However, Solo: A Star Wars Story doesn’t crash and burn. Solo is an action-oriented film with a good main cast. Apart from some notable scenes, most of Lord and Miller’s vision doesn’t appear to factor into the final film.
Deadpool 2 is an enjoyable diversion. The sequel improves upon the box-office winning formula of rapid fire humor and hyper violent comic book action. This time there’s even more super powered characters including the heavily armed Cable (Josh Brolin), lady luck Domino (Zazie Beetz) and the hot-tempered Firefist (Julian Dennison).
The main plot involves Deadpool protecting a teenage mutant from Cable. The story is like an ever-growing snowball that picks up more and more characters as it rolls along but never goes over the cliff. Deadpool is trying to figure out where he belongs and what family means to him. Is Deadpool an X-Men or should he assemble his own superhero team? Or is he better off dead?
A key ingredient in the first film that is carried over is Wade Wilson’s relationship with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). Ryan Reynolds is a natural fit as the wise-cracking Deadpool and Vanessa’s playful charm is the ideal compliment to Wade. The romantic chemistry in many other superhero films aren’t as authentic as Wade and Vanessa’s. As zany and crass as things gets, what’s going through Deadpool’s head and heart, albeit some times a bullet, feels genuine to me.
Josh Brolin is a great casting choice as Cable, a super soldier from the future. The film takes its time before bringing Cable into the fold and he could have been served better with a memorable introduction. I like Brolin’s version of Cable, but there is opportunity to do even more and expand on the buddy cop relationship with Deadpool.
The new personalities who stand out immediately is the very cool Domino and fiery Russell. Domino isn’t exactly well-developed either, it’s just really fun to see how her good fortune plays out in dangerous circumstances. Julian Dennison as Russell is funny and at the same time can be taken seriously during the dramatic moments. The chemistry between Wade Wilson and Russell works really well.
The running jokes featuring taxi-driving Dopinder, Blind Al and sidekick Weasel are essentially reworks of similar gags. I don’t mind this type of humor, I just don’t find it to be laugh-out loud funny. The funniest part is seeing Deadpool’s team in action for the first time thanks to a lot of visual humor. Further, breaking the fourth wall didn’t have the same novelty for me.
I liked that Colossus has his moments and his fighting sequences are very good. I could have used more Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio. There just wasn’t enough screen time to showcase all their talents. A noticeable improvement from the first film is that director David Leitch (Atomic Blonde) amped up the action set pieces. There’s a tonne of action and it’s on a much bigger scale.
The irreverent humor, gory action, and big super powered personalities confidently hit the mark for a second time. If you liked the first film, you’re going to enjoy the sequel. For my own tastes Deadpool doesn’t capture my imagination like some of the other Marvel films and heroes. But the non-stop entertainment and all around silly fun make it worth watching. Deadpool 2 is a solid steel 3 katanas out of five.
Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand, Larry Drake, Colin Friels
Back before Sam Raimi made the Spider-Man trilogy, he directed and co-wrote Darkman starring Liam Neeson as a crime fighting scientist whom could alter his facial appearance.
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