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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker | J. J. Abrams

December 19, 2019

The last time J.J. Abrams came near a Star Wars movie it was to kickstart a new trilogy with The Force Awakens, which was both celebrated as a return to cosmetic and structural form after George Lucas’ truly inspired but often bizarre prequel series. It was also labelled a rehash of the initial 1977 blockbuster by its detractors, and not without cause. Now Abrams returns to the franchise to cap it off with The Rise of Skywalker, and he’d better…

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#StreamingScene by Matthew Lucas Film

Lady and the Tramp | Charlie Bean

At this point, the Disney live action remake is a fact of life, a part of the current moviegoing landscape as ubiquitous as superheroes and unwanted remakes. So far, their quality has ranged from solid (Cinderella) to unnecessary (The Lion King) to dreadful (Aladdin).…

November 19, 2019
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

The Lion King | Jon Favreau

Say what you want about endless Marvel entries and Star Wars episodes, but no film so perfectly represents fears of a total corporate takeover of the cinema than Disney’s new fully computer-generated remake of 1994’s beloved The Lion King. Faithfully (in many cases, shot-for-shot)…

July 18, 2019
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Stuber | Michael Dowse

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…

July 15, 2019
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Toy Story 4 | Josh Cooley

Ready for another go-round with your vaguely queasy adult feelings about the inner lives of toys? Disney and Pixar are here to oblige. Toy Story 4 does the usual advertised job of making grown-up parents all nostalgic and weepy while delivering a stealth dose…

June 20, 2019
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

The BFG | Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg’s attempts at whimsy have historically paid low dividends. The impulse has been responsible for weaker elements in films like the otherwise under-appreciated Always, or the more notorious crime of cinema, Hook. So while it probably seemed like a good idea at the time, Spielberg may…

July 1, 2016
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Captain America: Civil War | Joe and Anthony Russo

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe steamrolls into its thirteenth entry, it’s seeming to be less and less constructive to bemoan the super-franchise’s apparent inevitability. Sure, Captain America: Civil War pretends at ambiguity when its reactionary politics couldn’t be clearer (these superheroes are the ultimate “good guys…

May 4, 2016
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