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Disney

by Matt Lynch Current Film

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story | Gareth Edwards

December 13, 2016
star-wars-rogue-one

Soon, just as there are plenty of adults who no longer remember a world before The Simpsons, nobody will recall a time when, for good or ill, there was not a new annual Star Wars movie. It’s no longer enough (either to shareholders or to pop culture at large) to expect a new installment of the core saga every few years (let alone every other decade), so with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Disney kicks off a line of one-off adventures. This…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

The BFG | Steven Spielberg

July 1, 2016
The BFG (2016)

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 not have been the best choice to adapt the slippery, often macabre childrens’ work of Roald Dahl—whose beloved late novel The BFG pinwheels through sweet flights of fancy, as a young girl is taken on a fantastic journey with a…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Captain America: Civil War | Joe and Anthony Russo

May 4, 2016
Marvel's Captain America: Civil War

L to R: Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan)

Photo Credit: Film Frame

© Marvel 2016

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 with guns”). Yes, the film is bloated, with endless Cuisinart-edited shaky-cam fight scenes and a villain so non-threatening you might even forget he’s in the movie.…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Star Wars: The Force Awakens | J.J. Abrams

December 16, 2015
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

At one point in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a much-older Han Solo (Harrison Ford, more engaged here than in a very long while) tells some new characters, “It’s true: the Force, the Jedi…it’s all true.” That sort of gets to the heart of what was initially appealing about these films for so many: the opening up of a fantasy world and making something you wanted to believe in seem like a living, breathing place. If it excels at anything in…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Ant-Man | Peyton Reed

July 15, 2015
Ant-Man (2015)

After menacing the world with inter-dimensional aliens, robots bent on mankind’s extermination, and cities plummeting from the sky, maybe it’s time Marvel did something a little more grounded, even lighthearted. That appears to be the intent with Ant-Man, a relatively earthbound story compared to the rest of the studio’s canon. Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang, a reformed thief freshly released from the pokey, hoping to go straight and reunite with his young daughter.…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Tomorrowland | Brad Bird

May 21, 2015
Tomorrowland (2015)

At one point in Tomorrowland, an exasperated George Clooney complains to a young woman (Britt Robertson) who keeps asking him to explain all the awesome future tech he’s showing her, “Can’t you just be amazed and move on?” Then, barely a scene later, he snaps, “Stop being so amazed.” It’s symptomatic of the push-pull between the film’s plea for the return of wide-eyed wonder and aw-shucks optimism and director Brad Bird’s curiously reactionary condemnation…

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by Matt Lynch Current Film

Avengers: Age of Ultron | Joss Whedon

April 29, 2015
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

There are a lot of superhero movies these days, evidently the subject of much critical handwringing. Maybe they’re poisoning popular cinema — bloated advertisements for themselves draining resources and eyeballs away from more worthy fare. Or maybe they’re just the latest pop trend, no different from the glut of westerns or zombie movies in decades past. Either way, they’re not going anywhere. So, as an experiment, rather than sneer at them for flaws likely intrinsic to manufacturing…

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by Steve Carlson Current Film

Toy Story 3 | Lee Unkrich

July 23, 2010
Toy Story 3 (2010)

“We’re all just trash, waiting to be thrown away…” Consider what it must be like to be a toy in the world of the Toy Story films. It’s all fun and games as long as your owner is of the age where you matter. Every toy, like every human, must know that nothing lasts forever; and as long as you aren’t junked, you’re effectively immortal. This translates to a relatively brief window of happiness sidling into a long dry desert…

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