Tag Archives: movie review

[REVIEW] Guardians of the Galaxy

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At this point, there are probably as many reviews of Guardians of the Galaxy as there are stars in said galaxy. If you’re interested in reading about how awesome the special effects were—and they were awesome—or how James Gunn laudably managed to catapult C-list (at best) comic book heroes to Hollywood superstars, please go read one of them. I’m not terribly interested in retreading the same generic territory. What you’ll find below is simply my personal reaction to the film: emotional impressions, fanboy nitpicking, and the odd idiosyncratic mental connection. Light spoilers are likely, but I figure most of you have either already seen the film, or couldn’t care less about it. In which case, why are you even bothering to read this?
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[REVIEW] X-Men: Days of Future Past

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Before we begin, a disclaimer: I can’t even feign objectivity when it comes to the X-Men. I was an avid viewer of FOX’s Saturday morning cartoon at an impressionable age, and I’ve been a bit of a fanatic ever since. I still regularly read most of the X-titles, past and present, and many of the characters feel something akin to old friends at this point. When I watched the film in question, then, my experience couldn’t help but be shaped by two decades worth of expectations. I say this now, so there will be no mistake. What you’re about to read is not a fair, neutral review. It’s a fanboy bemoaning the perceived mangling of a beloved IP. If there’s a way to enjoy the X- franchise simply as a fun sci-fi romp, I’ll probably never find it. I’m not sure I can. (I also apologize for my first sentence; it’s a doozy.)
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[REVIEW] Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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This is the movie I’ve been waiting for since the moment I saw Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky hyped up on a bastardized super soldier serum and going toe-to-toe with the eponymous green goliath in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. At that time, the prospect of a Captain America film existed only as internet rumor. A longtime Marvel comics fan with no particular investment in the Cap character, I’d followed speculation with a detached interest. However, as I watched the diminutive Roth dodge, duck, dip, dive, and discharge firearms into the face of his enormous foe, I suddenly realized the potential of the franchise. If superhuman agility could be depicted on film so believably, Captain America could be cinematic gold. Continue reading

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[REVIEW] Her

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Bold, insightful, and remarkably positive, director Spike Jonze’s (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are) latest offering is an unmitigated success. Her, the poignant story of one man’s love affair with his tech suite’s sapient operating system, is neither as whimsical nor as unsettling as its premise might suggest. Instead, the film cuts straight to the heart of the wonder and untidiness of personal relationships. Like all great science fiction, it presents our own world back to us, heightened, so we can examine the human experience with new eyes. Continue reading

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[REVIEW] Elysium

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This week, a meek freak ekes by with a bleak, somewhat tongue-in-cheek peek at sleek, badly-tweaked, creaky cinematic chic.

                                                                      

A slick sci-fi concept piece, Elysium left me feeling cold, underwhelmed, and more than a little preached at. Never quite able to completely mask a markedly propagandist slant behind its veneer of action movie tropes, its lack of subtlety shares something in common with Neil Young’s “protest” songs of recent years (e.g., “Let’s Impeach the President”). Director Neill Blomkamp’s previous sermon, District 9, held up because the originality and zaniness of the film’s story transcended its overt political commentary. Elysium has no such fallback because its adaptation of the typical Hollywoodized action hero’s journey fails to inject much freshness into the formula. Continue reading

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