Articles By: Steven

Bumblebee Review

The “Transformers” team finally figured it out – bigger doesn’t mean better. After five movies, the metal CGI juggernaut of a film franchise decided to go small and tell a more intimate story. And while the box office receipts for “Bumblebee” didn’t outdo “Transformers: The Last Knight,” they nearly matched it – and for a significantly cheaper price tag.

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Ralph Breaks the Internet Review

Sequels tend widen the scope of the films that precede them, to tell a story using the same characters but on a grander stage. Taking Wreck-It Ralph out of Litwak’s retro arcade and into the vastness of the Internet might be among the more dramatic leaps of any sequel, and it makes “Ralph Breaks the Internet” among Disney’s most ambitious undertakings.

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City of God Review

The cycle of violence is not a subject filmmakers have ever shied away from. There are plenty of films like “City of God” that try and show such gratuitous violence that we almost become desensitized to it, we expect it. However, there is no film like “City of God” that tells this kind of story in rich, visual detail using some very compelling visual storytelling techniques.

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Glass Review

That M. Night Shyamalan, he sure loves twists. “Glass,” too, is – unsurprisingly – a film preoccupied with twists.

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Avengers: Endgame Review

In the era of “event films,” they don’t get much bigger than “Avengers: Endgame.”

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Iron Man Review

Somehow I didn’t have a review of the Marvel movie that started it all on this site, so in honor of “Endgame,” I’m pulling this one from the archives dated May 2, 2008, which, you know, was the day it came out. I’ve done better work, but there are a lot of points here that speak loudly to the future success of Marvel Studios.

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Aquaman Review

“Entourage” creator Doug Ellin didn’t realize how spot on he’d be in surmising that only James Cameron could bring a film such as “Aquaman” to life; 2018’s real version is a mammoth endeavor of digital production design and world-building that feels an awful lot like “Avatar” (all the more impressive given Ellin’s prediction was years before that film hit theaters).

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Goodfellas Review

While the title of mob masterpiece most often goes to “The Godfather” for its stunning drama and dark beauty, something must be said for honesty. Those two points belong to Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas.”

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Vice Review

The prestige of the “The Big Short” clearly got to Adam McKay’s head. The “Anchorman” director and longtime Will Ferrell comedy partner earned an Oscar for adapting Michael Lewis’ book about the housing crisis into a clever and accessible movie. In “Vice,” he attempts to apply those same storytelling principles to a biopic of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

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Us Review

“Us,” at least, proves Peele has plenty up his sleeve, and that his talent is as much about craft as it is about a clever twisty premise.

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Review

After 20 years of superhero films dominating the box office and becoming the cornerstone of the moviegoing experience in the 21st century, no one ever stopped to ask, “who do these films need to be live action?” Enter “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” a complete game-changer for not just the business of on-screen heroes, but for animation on the whole.

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Can You Ever Forgive Me? Review

“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” rounds out McCarthy’s incredible decade with a more dramatic, down-to-earth role that shows that her talent comes from a deep, not merely surface-level/physical place.

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Captain Marvel Review

Movie after movie, hero after hero – waiting for Marvel Studios to misfire and derail its blockbuster empire is a fool’s errand, and “Captain Marvel” is just the latest to disappoint the superhero movie Nostradami of the world.

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High Flying Bird Review

Nobody quite knows what Steven Soderbergh is doing, but his projects sure are interesting. “High Flying Bird,” shot speedily on an iPhone and released on Netflix, is a dialogue-forward fast-talking business movie set during a pro-basketball lockout. In other words, it’s in its own category of “sports movie.”

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The Top 10 Films of 2018

As indicated by the Oscars, 2018 was a year that celebrated popular films, and while I liked a lot of those movies and some of them make this list, I was equally if not more impressed by independent films and less-heralded filmmakers.

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