The Great Wall review

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Who did you think was going to headline the movie?  Andy Lau?

by Thom Yee

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The Great Wall images courtesy of Universal Pictures and China Film Group

I never planned to write a review of The Great Wall.

Actually, that’s not quite true, it looked interesting enough to pencil into our schedule after its first trailer dropped, at a time still months away from its eventual release and at a point that I didn’t have to pay it much attention, but as we drew closer and closer to its opening, outrage around the circumstances of the movie only seemed to grow.  Instead of just being a movie, The Great Wall became a lightning rod of appropriation among cultural critics and mediocrity among movie critics.  It’s especially on that latter point that it seemed unlikely we would ever be discussing it at any great length here at GOO Reviews.

But this May… Continue reading

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 review

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“We’re not friends, we’re family.”  Huh, where have I heard that before?

by Thom Yee

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 images courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Honestly, it’s starting to feel a little weird that we live in a world where I can talk to my mom about Rocket Raccoon.  At this point, I could probably even talk about Rocket Raccoon with your mom.  We geeks are really getting spoiled right now.

So anyway, the original Guardians of the Galaxy did did very well with us here at GOO Reviews, but the farther we’ve all gotten from it, the more I’ve personally learned to… well, not to dislike it, but to not love it SO much.  Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie defined by extremes, its most visible and memorable elements probably being its colourful comedy and its general wackiness, and though those extremes aren’t necessarily that surprising given that it is a comicbook movie, it still lacks some of the nuance that’s allowed the best superhero movies to endure (even as the most enduring superhero movies usually come across as far more sanctimonious and self-serious).  That doesn’t mean Guardians isn’t well remembered or that it couldn’t or shouldn’t be your favourite superhero movie, but Guardians was the type of movie that left me feeling extremely satisfied at first but ultimately somewhat empty, like a really, really great fast food meal.  Continue reading

Win It All review

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To gambling, the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems

by Thom Yee

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Win It All images courtesy of Netflix

Manifest destiny is one of those concepts that’s surprisingly easy to throw around, even if we don’t all have a firm grasp on 19th century colonialism, because it’s so tempting to believe what we’re doing is right. What we’re doing is inevitable. What we’re doing is something we ought to be doing, something that will bring about the way things should be and, perhaps, always should have been. It’s a lot like gambling that way. It’s an act of faith.

Gambling is something you do at least partially because you believe it can help you to meet your end goals. That doesn’t necessarily make it a lot better or an easy thing to condone, but I think it makes it easier to understand. Continue reading