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Movie Review: Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)

Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a film not unlike the Pokémon that populate it. On the surface it appears simple — a collection of seen-it-before neo-noir aesthetics, cute creatures, and a generic story, all tied together with a few charming leads. However, this is merely a façade. Before long it reveals itself to be a beast…

Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers: Endgame brings the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) third phase to a close in splendid fashion, designating much of its three-hour runtime to character arcs and the wider narrative, versus intergalactic fireworks and fisticuffs. In fact, Anthony and Joe Russo’s finale is an intelligent film, introducing novel MCU concepts, “hard” science and a supervillain worthy…

Movie Review: Captain Marvel (2019)

The special forces sub-genre combines elements of the cop, spy and soldier film, and is characterized by jargon, hardware, institutionalized yet independent characters and almost-but-not-quite overwhelming odds. Notable examples include “Tears of the Sun,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Triple Frontier” and “The Expendables” franchise. Given their practice of taking established generic traditions and infusing them with…

Movie Review: Triple Frontier (2019)

J.C. Chandor’s (“All Is Lost”) Amazonian heist thriller, Triple Frontier, has a stellar cast and equally impressive cinematography — as some of Hollywood’s most recognizable stars traverse South American rainforests and mountainous peaks to lift hundreds of millions of dollars off a local drug lord. While some of the narrative feels somewhat tired — as…

Movie Review: Stray (2019)

In Stray, an orphaned young woman struggles to discover the reasons behind her mother’s death, aided by an indefatigable detective with child-care issues of her own. The plot is also tinged with a bit of the supernatural, which typically would raise this movie a few cuts above your standard police procedural. Instead, the film left…

Movie Review: Miss Bala (2019)

Is it possible to do questionable things for a noble cause? Well, veteran director Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”) and first-time full feature screenwriter Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer clumsily answer that thematic question with Miss Bala, an Americanized reshaping of a 2011 Spanish-language tale with the same name. Their vision replays similar story beats as the original, but lacks…

Movie Trailer: Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

The title Spider-Man: Far From Home may be lacking, but at least we know Spider-Man is alive and well following his disintegration in “Avengers: Infinity War” (and subsequently, “Avengers: Endgame”). Here Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is quite clearly making a concerted effort to reintegrate himself into teenage life, going so far as to leave his…

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