August 16th Weekend Predictions & Predilections

Opening this Weekend

The Angry Birds Movie 2

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Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood review


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It’s official, old buddy

by Thom Yee


Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood images courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing

A lot has been made lately of the diminishing value of star power in Hollywood.  Chris Hemsworth, for instance, is a popular actor right now, well-liked, men want to be him and be with him and like that, and yet outside of his Marvel work, movies in which he stars rarely do well, usually underperform, and even fail to achieve their goal of launching new franchises (see:  Blackhat, Men in Black:  International).  Tom Cruise, who, in many respects, could be considered the ultimate movie star working today, rarely has a non-Mission: Impossible movie that’s a full-on hit these days and has even had his own recent failure to launch an intended franchise with the 2017 Mummy remake (remember the Dark Universe)?  Movie stars just aren’t what they used to be, generally adding to a movie’s appeal but rarely getting it done on their own (though to be fair, most of those movies I just mentioned were pretty bad [I thought I was completely lost watching Men in Black:  International because I couldn’t stay awake, but it turns out it was just poorly written]).  There just aren’t that many people in Hollywood who can sell a movie on their name alone.

Quentin Tarantino being the one notable exception. Continue reading

All 23 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, ranked by GOO Reviews


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All images courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

It was the tail end of spring 2008, just before summer, that a little movie called Iron Man debuted from a little studio called Marvel.  As the first self-financed and produced work from Marvel, who had, until that point, almost exclusively licensed its properties out to other studios, Iron Man was a big step forward even if the movie itself wasn’t opening to too much in the way of fan fair or expectations.  But as the summer closed and the box office dust had settled, Iron Man had earned nearly $600 million.  That was kind of a lot back then.

Far more importantly, though, Iron Man established a beachhead; it was the first stage in what would become the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a series of movies following the adventures of some of the greatest heroes of our age, and all, as it would turn out, taking place in the same world.  What happened in one was reflected in another, our heroes would meet sometimes and even sometimes become integral parts of each other’s stories.  Eleven years, 23 movies, and three unofficial “phases” later, Marvel has woven an intricate tapestry, a deep and epic backstory that rewards those of us paying attention while still maintaining the necessary accessibility for each of their individual chapters to stand on their own.  Mostly. Continue reading

Spider-Man: Far From Home review


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We’ve ended the Endgame now

by Thom Yee


Spider-Man:  Far From Home images courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing

Y’know what?  We are really, really, really lucky that Marvel and Sony got the whole Spider-Man thing straightened out.  Like, lucky as a culture.  Like, lucky as a people.  Like, lucky as a species.

For the time being at least.

It’s taken me a while to realize this, at least realize this fully with as much force and with as little doubt as I’m about to present here, but I’m finally ready to just say it:  I hate the original Spider-Man movies.  They’re dramatically overwrought and clichéd, their plots stretch out to the point of near total incredulity, and they feel so much more concerned with the idea of what a superhero movie is supposed to be that they get nowhere near what they can be.  Continue reading