Tagged magic

Movie Review: Death of Me (2020)

Robin Wood’s “The Wicker Man” casts a giant, well, wicker man-shaped shadow over horror cinema, especially folk horror. From “Deliverance” to “Get Out,” from “The Blair Witch Project” to “Kill List,” the conceit of confident people from “mainstream” society going to a distant location and regretting it has yielded great results for horror filmmakers. Director…

Movie Review: Onward (2020)

Onward, the latest animated adventure from the studio that seemingly can do no wrong, Pixar, kinda does. It is a mediocre effort overall, but still a further reminder of the studio’s status as a master heartstring-tugger. In the end, that’s where the studio excels and the way Dan Scanlon, Jason Headley and Keith Bunin’s story…

Movie Review: Frozen II (2019)

A franchise’s future often lies in its past. The narrative need to look back upon the legacy of a series starter and the history of its characters provides a clear entry point for many sequels that may otherwise struggle to justify their existence beyond merely financial reasons. It’s a strategy used to moving effect in…

Movie Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

No doubt, Disney and Lucasfilm were faced with a monumental task by ending the Skywalker saga — the ninth film in a franchise that changed the course of filmmaking and introduced generations of viewers to freewheeling, space-opera arcs and settings. Inherent in that task: The risk of polarizing a temperamental fan base and bookending “Star…

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Zoë Kravitz’s (“Rough Night”) character in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Leta Lestrange, tells the franchise’s bashful hero, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”), “You never met a monster you couldn’t love.” The line is actually quite interchangeable with the film itself. While the narrative is somewhat of a slog, there is just…

Movie Review: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

For anyone willing to get into the Christmas spirit immediately after Halloween (that would be me, at least this year), there’s the arrival of Disney’s festive fantasia The Nutcracker and the Four Realms to help ease the transition from one treat-filled holiday to another. The title may be a mouthful, but the movie is a…

Movie Review: The Endless (2017)

Ignoring Thomas Wolfe’s observation that “You can’t go home again,” brothers Justin (Justin Benson, “Dementia”) and Aaron Smith (Aaron Moorhead, “Contracted: Phase II”), as an expression of completion, return to a California cult from which they had escaped ten years ago. Written and directed by Benson and Moorhead, The Endless is a low-budget psychological drama…

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