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20th Century Fox

#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Stuber | Michael Dowse

July 15, 2019

Another in a long line of action comedies made by people who can’t shoot action, Michael Dowse’s Stuber is frequently funny and buoyed by two capable leads, but it fails to toy with the tropes in the buddy film sandbox, and is not particularly exciting, either. The setup is warmed-over: Sporting goods store clerk Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) is moonlighting as an Uber driver (Stu, Uber, Stuber, you get it) when he picks up Vic (Dave Bautista), a tough-guy cop who,…

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#KickingtheCanon by Lawrence Garcia Film

All That Jazz | Bob Fosse

“This is the feverish, painful expression of a man who lives in mortal fear of his own mediocrity,” concludes Dave Kehr’s negative Chicago Reader review of All That Jazz, Bob Fosse’s penultimate directorial feature. And it certainly is — that’s what makes it so glorious.…

January 19, 2019
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Widows | Steve McQueen

After celebrated prestige pictures like Shame and 12 Years a Slave, you’d be forgiven for expecting something less disreputable from Steve McQueen than Widows. But McQueen’s normal tendencies toward making “important” work (not to mention his gorgeous, tactile images) add essential texture to what’s basically a rambunctious…

November 16, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

The Predator | Shane Black

The stripped-down premise and formal exactitude of John McTiernan’s 1987 Predator are precisely not present in Shane Black’s The Predator, the latest attempt to drag-out and elaborate on a franchise that shouldn’t be burdened by much more than ‘scary monster kills people.’ This new installment collapses under the weight…

September 14, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Deadpool 2 | David Leitch

Did you like the first Deadpool? Its constant allegedly clever meta-references? The look-how-edgy-this-is shock humor? The graphic violence? Deadpool 2 has more of those things, so you will enjoy this one too. Although, this time, Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is depressed for various spoilery reasons and wants to…

May 17, 2018
by Matt Lynch Film

Joy | David O. Russell

Joy begins with an on-screen dedication to “daring women” and a scene from a hypothetical cheesy soap opera in which two women argue about the men in their lives, the love that they want, and the power that they deserve. It’s a surreal introduction…

December 8, 2015
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

The Revenant | Alejandro González Iñárritu

Combining what some have called his propensity for “arthouse miserablism” in films like Babel or Biutiful with a newfound fetish for conspicuous formal audacity (see Birdman’s much-discussed faux single take), Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant is a simultaneously uneven and thrilling combination of grisly…

December 4, 2015
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Bridge of Spies | Steven Spielberg

It’s not new to describe Steven Spielberg as a sort of father figure in Hollywood filmmaking. A film like War of the Worlds, just to take a somewhat recent example, is so skillfully unnerving it might as well be a bedtime story told by a parent with…

October 14, 2015
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

The Martian | Ridley Scott

In addition to the spectacle of characters struggling to outlast the elements, survival-specific adventure films typically involve some sort of additional antagonist. Some guy’s trapped in the woods? There’s probably a hungry bear around. Stranded on a desert island? Maybe cannibals, or some kind…

September 30, 2015
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Fantastic Four | Joshua Trank

The Comic book iterations of the Fantastic Four are often called Marvel’s First Family. Their stories take place in a bright four-color world where the heroes are a band of endlessly squabbling world-famous celebrities, sort of a Hard Day’s Night with pop superscience, where a man…

August 11, 2015
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