The third volume of Marvel Studios’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ franchise within a franchise has had a unique path to fruition to say the least. Writer/Director James Gunn, who had brought his own kooky/gooey/funny/heart-on-his-sleeve stamp on the first two volumes and further influenced the rest of the MCU, had been fired from ‘Vol.3’ years ago… Continue reading ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3’ – Did An Exiting James Gunn Deliver?
At this point it’s truly hard to believe how incredible the ‘John Wick’ series continues to be. ‘Chapter 4’ hit theaters and it’s once again a non-stop feat of balletic action fantasy. Keanu Reeves and his long time stunt coordinator / now director Chad Stahelski have crafted an epic master class in logic/age-defying martial arts… Continue reading ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ – Never Too Much of a Good Thing?
The new film, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ is the first entry of Phase 5 in the ongoing saga that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This an important factor as it’s also supposed to be the third entry in the ‘Ant-Man’ subfranchise. When it works, it’s successful at being both, but when it doesn’t (and… Continue reading ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ – Small Tries to Go BIG?
Thirteen years in the making, one year more than the gap between his previous two box office crushers, “Titanic” (1997) and “Avatar” (2009), James Cameron is back to do it again. His sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water”, comes to the multiplex, or IMAX, or Dolby, or RealD high frame rate – whatever version is… Continue reading ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ – An Unparalleled Cinematic Experience?
Marvel had an unenviable task with its sequel to ‘Black Panther’, one of the most, if not the most, celebrated comic book adaptations ever made. After the sudden and tragic passing of its star Chadwick Boseman, the speculation as to what Marvel/Disney would do ranged from recasting, to mantle passing, to canceling the franchise completely.… Continue reading ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ – Can the Sequel Succeed Tragically Missing Its Center?
Olivia Wilde’s sophomore directing effort, “Don’t Worry Darling”, has arrived to theaters amongst some of the most discussed backstage turmoil on a feature film in some time. Cutting though the noise and nonsense is a difficult endeavor. The end result though is a competently made, if ultimately shallow attempt at a twisty thriller that’s neither… Continue reading ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ – Can Florence Pugh Save a Half-Baked Idea?
A Jordan Peele feature is an event in its own right. His films, all original stories and visions in the horror/comedy milieu, are challenging, expertly made, and peculiar in the best ways. It’s kind of shocking that he has found a pretty substantial audience which has allowed each movie to be bigger than the last.… Continue reading ‘Nope’ – Jordan Peele’s Take on a Close Encounter?
The MCU has been a bit hit and miss lately, the company’s self-proclaimed Phase 4 vacillating between back-tracking in history with established characters (‘Black Widow’), introducing new characters and mythos (‘Shang-Chi’), ambitious misfiring swings (‘Eternals’) and multi-dimensional sequel high jinks (‘Spider-Man’ & ‘Doctor Strange’). Now Taika Waititi presents a sequel of his own to ‘Thor’,… Continue reading ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ – Too Metal or Not Metal Enough?
Thirty-six years in the making. Granted it was supposed to be thirty-four, but a pandemic almost shut down the movies for good. The sequel to ‘Top Gun’, 1986’s Tom Cruise star-making performance as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, is finally here and it’s magnificent. The movie title’s clarifier is ‘Maverick’ for a good reason – this is… Continue reading ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ – Tom Cruise Saves The Movies?
With ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’, Marvel/Disney drops its 28th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which now includes six series on Disney+, it appears that the almost always reliable super-franchise may have finally bitten off more than it can handle. Under the assured hand of uber-producer Kevin Feige, even lesser entries like… Continue reading ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ – As Unnecessarily Overcomplicated as Its Title?