Movie Review: BRIGHTBURN – how they managed to make this horror movie take on Superboy is beyond me – but I loved it

While I’m a sucker for the Marvel movies, my personal favourite movie about superhumans is 2012’s Chronicle, a movie that appeals to the side of me that sees the crossover potential of the superhuman in fiction, and not keep it limited to the kind of material that’s been pounding the cinemas for decades now, and now Brightburn, a modestly made indie movie produced by Guardians of the Galaxy‘s James Gunn has cemented itself right by it.

Continue reading “Movie Review: BRIGHTBURN – how they managed to make this horror movie take on Superboy is beyond me – but I loved it”

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Movie Review: SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME a serviceable addition to Marvel’s growing list of franchise pics, but nothing more than that.

It’s hard to believe, but as of this year’s Avengers: Endgame, Tom Holland has donned the spider-suit in more movies than any other actor, and it’s only been three years since his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War!  To my knowledge, only Nicholas Hammond has played the character more than him.  This time around, it’s in his second solo outing, subtitled Far From Home.

Continue reading “Movie Review: SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME a serviceable addition to Marvel’s growing list of franchise pics, but nothing more than that.”

Movie Review: AVENGERS: ENDGAME – impressive, emotional end to the Avengers saga, but where can the studio possibly go from here?

Just about a year after Avengers: Infinity War was released, the second part of the story, Avengers: Endgame has descended upon the Earth, much like the kind of invading alien force audiences are all too familiar with, ironically, because of movies just like this.  I write this on Saturday, April 7 – opening weekend – and the movie is projected to have an opening weekend gross in excess of $1 billion, and that’s in addition to other cinematic records it is crushing.  Of course, the age-old question asks: is it any good?  My reaction is similar to that of Infinity War: it’s really good, and I really liked it, but it doesn’t get 5 stars, and left me with questions about the future of the entire Marvel franchise.

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Movie Review: SHAZAM! takes a lighter approach than recent DC movies, but the script is a horrendous, weak mess.

You’d be forgiven for not knowing this is the second Captain Marvel movie released this year, even though Brie Larson’s titular character was never actually called by that name, and Zachary Levi’s character doesn’t even have a name – but yes, the guy in the red costume and yellow lightning bolt is actually named Captain Marvel.  Marvel Comics won the copyright battle on that one, and so from that day, he’s been referred to colloquially by his activation word, Shazam! I will not even try to give you a canned history of the character, as I didn’t grow up reading him and don’t have any particular affinity for him either.  In fact, the only personal relationship I have to a version of this character is to the British rip-off character, Marvelman, so a little more of that later.  But right here, all you get is the movie.

Continue reading “Movie Review: SHAZAM! takes a lighter approach than recent DC movies, but the script is a horrendous, weak mess.”

Movie Review: CAPTAIN MARVEL – the latest in the Marvel Studios juggernaut is enjoyable thanks to Brie Larson’s charm, but lightweight.

Carol Danvers, much like Tony Stark in 2008, was a comic book character largely unknown outside of the increasingly insular world of comic book readers, but thanks to her inclusion in the cinematic Marvel Universe, now over $1 billion worth of people know the name worldwide, bringing with it untold fame and riches for its Oscar-winning star, Brie Larson.  More importantly, the movie introduces Marvel’s first female headliner and positions the character as potentially the most powerful in the entire franchise.  Unfortunately, in today’s sociopolitical climate, the very notion has been met online with the kind of outraged-male bile all too common.  I’d have preferred not to put this kind of spin on my reviews, but it’s unavoidable.

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Movie Review: US – Jordan Peele’s follow up to Get Out is doing big business, but I found little to like.

The review title says it all, doesn’t it?  Consider that a tl:dr, if you don’t want to read a dissenting opinion, but if you’re curious as to why I seem to be in the overwhelming minority when it comes to this movie, plough your way through.

I’ll say at the top that I wasn’t a great fan of Get Out either.  I thought the hype and critical praise for a mostly just good movie was startling.  My own daughter, whose opinion generally aligns with mine on horror movies, was one of those people who thought Get Out was fantastic, and I approached it with some excitement, as someone who generally feels let down by most movies in the genre.  It happened with Get Out, and to an even greater degree with Peele’s sophomore work, Us. Continue reading “Movie Review: US – Jordan Peele’s follow up to Get Out is doing big business, but I found little to like.”

Movie Review: PET SEMATARY – The 2nd attempt to film Stephen King’s best novel makes a lot of changes, but few of them work.

I am a child of the 80s, and just like whichever decade your teen years were set, that is the era that defined me.  Part of that period in my life was where my affinity for the horror genre evolved, with the books of Stephen King maybe the largest single element.  Throughout that decade, with no internet to make things easy, I devoured not just his books, but also news of his books.  Each time I went into a book shop with the intent of picking up his newest release, I left in a hurry to get home to crack open the cover.  I remember calling the US telephone operator from my bedroom in Scotland around 1987 or so and actually getting the number of King’s Bangor mansion, but there was never an answer each time I called.  All this is to tell you that I was a big fan of King, to preface the review of 2019’s Pet Sematary.

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