Movies & Films

Reviews of both new release and older movies & films.

Alita: Battle Angel Delivers an Apt Adaptation of the Classic Manga and Anime

Not all anime and manga properties have to suffer when it comes to an American live-action treatment. Some of them are taken in with care by people who find there’s a great story to tell rather than marquee value to reap. It has been done before with the likes of 2009’s computer-animated Astro Boy, which took care to stick close to its darker source material but also had enough inspiration to be its own thing. Alita: Battle Angel fits...

They Shall Not Grow Old Is a World War I Documentary Like No Other

There have been plenty of attempts in the past to make history come alive beyond the old photos and low-quality footage, but none of have done it quite like They Shall Not Grow Old. Keeping things engaging and heard, director Peter Jackson has given top treatment to the stories of World War I. He cobbles together video footage, illustrations, photos, and archived audio interviews to bring this event from over a hundred years ago to life so that the...

The Dragon Ball Super: Broly Movie Is an Animation Spectacle

After months of hype and trying to avoid blatant spoilers, I sat down to watch Dragon Ball Super: Broly on opening night. And oh, did this movie deliver. My eyes were glued to the screen as I tried to drink in the backgrounds and appreciate every movement. There will be some mild spoilers in my review, but unless you’ve been completely cut off from social media, you’ve probably seen worse. The new aesthetic is front and center thanks to Naohiro Shintani’s new...

Mary Poppins Returns with More Music, Whimsy, and Charm

Mary Poppins must really love the Bankses to keep coming to their aid in their direst times. When old London seems too stuffy, dark, and depressing, she flies in all proper to bring some dignity and imagination back into the lives of the Banks family. Her 2018 return is less of a remarkable transformation and more of a second visit, where you can’t wait to show your kids what that stern Poppins can conjure up, be it a brilliant...

Mortal Engines Chugs Along with Big Visuals and Small Ideas

Something is awry with a film when its most interesting role is the zombie robot side character with faded memories of his past life. He must, unfortunately, state the obvious in this giant clunker of a young adult epic while he examines a toy: “It has no heart. Like me!” This is the case with Mortal Engines, which cakes on so much giant fantasy with its big cities and unique aircraft that its personality is microscopic by comparison. In...

Snowmance Is a Holiday Love Story That’s Big on Minnesota Stereotypes

Cheesy holiday movies are a yearly trend I’m always happy to see. Much like ugly Christmas sweaters have become popular over the past few years, movies that emulate the Hallmark Channel formula (wholesome and cutesy) have permeated many a cable channel during the holiday season. There’s honestly nothing like sitting in front of the TV with the Christmas tree lights on and watching one of these sugary-sweet films, laughing with your family at the absurd amount of cheese but...

Aquaman Overflows with Adventure and Fantasy

After decades being the butt of easy jokes, Aquaman has finally gotten his own movie. Even this year’s Teen Titans Go! to the Movies made a slam on him: “If Aquaman can get a movie, anybody can.” Thanks to the bearded charisma of Jason Momoa and big action from director James Wan, one could argue this hero is cool at last. That’s definitely what the movie seems to be going for as it overloads on the action, adventure, fantasy,...

Jump into the Spider-Verse for the Best Spider-Man Tale to Hit the Big Screen

Over the past two decades, there have been somewhere around 67 different Spider-Mans (Spider-Men?) swinging into theaters as part of their respective re-reboots of the franchise. It’s easy to feel exhausted at the idea of sitting through yet another Spidey origin story, disillusioned by all the awfulness to come before it. But not this time. Sony’s animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse doubles down—in fact, septuples down—on your love of friendly neighborhood protectors, and it’s a real winner of a...

The Favourite Is a Sharply Faceted Costume Drama

The Favourite, the newest film from Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos, tells you right up front what it’s about: it opens with a scene of Queen Anne, having just made a speech, being divested of her ermine-trimmed cloak and crown. In the next scene, in deliberate contrast, we meet Abigail Hall, who’s apparently down on hard times and shows up to Kensington Palace covered in mud. The mud, she informs us, stinks. A maid tells her it’s because people defecate...

Robin Hood’s Great Cast Can’t Save a Mess of a Movie

I admit was slightly annoyed when I heard another Robin Hood movie was being released. There are only so many times the same story can be told on the big screen, even if a hot British actor is cast in the role, and my expectations of this movie were at an all-time low. Given that, I was pleasantly surprised how immersed I became in the story. It’s a flawed movie, but the action was enough to keep me interested. In this version,...
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