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Warner Bros.

#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Shazam! | David F. Sandberg

April 5, 2019

Perhaps setting itself up as a corrective to the rest of the DC comics films, which are apparently perceived to be overly dark and serious, Shazam! [sic] is more kid-friendly fare, what with its host of adolescent characters, its good-natured it’s-about-family moralizing, and its relatively low stakes. Unfortunately, the film is too busy being cute and amiable to be particularly interesting or exciting. Orphan street-urchin Billy Batson (Asher Angel), once inexplicably abandoned by his mother and now ping-ponging through the system, sticks…

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#KickingtheCanon by Greg Cwik Film

Eyes Wide Shut | Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick’s final film is one of the least-sexy films ever made about sex. Libidinous, yes, and full of naked bodies in salacious motion, engaging in lubricious acts — but also off-putting, too meticulous to be arousing. Eyes Wide Shut is a dreamy traipse…

March 15, 2019
#KickingtheCanon by M.G. Mailloux Film

A Perfect World | Clint Eastwood

A Perfect World‘s title is contradictory, born from a phrase that implies that life will never really amount to what we want it to — but abbreviated, so as to suggest that the central relationship in Clint Eastwood’s film is a utopian alternative to the…

March 3, 2019
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Aquaman | James Wan

Imagine a script development meeting where everyone involved in making Aquaman sat down to solve one all-important question: “How do we make Aquaman cool?” Now imagine if the answer was, “What if we don’t?” After the DC comics cinematic universe failed to take off as…

December 21, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

The Meg | Jon Turteltaub

Here’s a movie about Jason Statham fighting a gigantic killer prehistoric shark. That’s all it is. The Meg spends not much time setting up its premise (lifted from Renny Harlin’s Cliffhanger), with Statham’s washed up deep-sea rescue diver being pressed back into service after an on-the-job tragedy.…

August 10, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Tomb Raider | Roar Uthaug

What’s the use of rebooting a successful video game franchise if you can’t reboot the mediocre film series that it spawned? That appears to be the motivation behind the new Tomb Raider, which resembles nothing so much as a perfunctory early 2000s action programmer except that…

March 15, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Blade Runner 2049 | Denis Villeneuve

It’s worth remembering that, at the time of its 1982 initial release, nobody really knew what to make of, or much cared for, Blade Runner. Ridley Scott’s one-time sci-fi flop (now duly reclaimed and canonized, and available in 5 different cuts) was deliberately meandering, opaque, and…

October 6, 2017
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Sully | Clint Eastwood

Late in Eastwood’s chronicle of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s emergency water landing of US Air 1549 (dubbed the “Miracle on the Hudson”)—and the investigation that follows—Sully (a white-haired Tom Hanks) turns to his co-pilot (Aaron Eckhart), saying, “We did our job.” That pretty much…

September 7, 2016