Incredibles 2 Spoiler Review

The Incredibles arrived on the scene in 2004 when superheroes were taking off at the box office, but hadn’t ventured into the behemoth of success that would come with the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe just four years later. Now that 14 years have passed since the original, the superhero game is well-tread and seasoned territory. But leave it to the geniuses at Pixar Animation to craft a superhero sequel that is positively superb simply because it isn’t your average superhero movie.

What made The Incredibles stand out in the first place was the fact that it was about family first. It just so happens the Parr family were special because every one of them had super powers (except Jack-Jack at the time). Unfortunately, Bob (aka Mr. Incredible) and Helen (aka Elastigirl) decided to start a family after superheroes were declared illegal, forcing their kids Dash and Violet to hide their super powers. Unlike the rest of the world around them, this family can’t do the things that make them special.

Incredibles 2 partially deals with this same issue as the family faces the prospect of their heroic actions still being deemed not only illegal, but also unwanted by the general public, thanks to the perception presented by politicians ensuring that people only see the destruction they’ve caused and not the good they’ve done. However, all that is an excuse to put pressure on The Incredibles as a family, to change up the dynamic so that each of the characters can grow in their own way. And it’s accompanied by some amazingly well-crafted and thrilling action adventure. Read More »

Hereditary Spoiler Review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Ari Aster’s Hereditary.)

In its opening days, Hereditary has sailed past tracking expectations and earned A24 its biggest weekend release yet. Ari Aster’s indie horror film has been generating conversation since its January Sundance screening, and now that it’s on nearly three thousand screens, that conversation has gotten a lot louder.

And there’s plenty to talk about when it comes to Hereditary: the soul-chilling performances, the elegant and unusual art design, that balls-out (uhm, literally) ending no one saw coming. But under the polished, cinematic horror of Hereditary is a rougher, truer horror, one that will stay with audiences long past that shocking conclusion.

The real horror of Hereditary is in its relentless, unblinking look at family dysfunction.

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Solo A Star Wars Story Spoiler Review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Ron Howard‘s exciting but hollow prequel Solo: A Star Wars Story.)

Han Solo is one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars universe, and Lucasfilm decided to tell us how he became the smuggler that we all know and love. The only problem is the last time we saw this kind of story, it involved a whiny kid blossoming into an emo adult who turned to the dark side and left a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of Star Wars fans. Do we really need to know where Han Solo came from?

After seeing Solo: A Star Wars Story, the answer is honestly no, but that’s no reason to disregard the movie entirely. Solo offers up some of the most exciting action sequences in the history of the Star Wars saga. It also features outstanding performances from each and every cast member. And it sets the stage for a new story arc that will fill in the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Unfortunately, it does all this while not giving us much of a reason to care about the title character of the movie, other than knowing who he becomes. It feels like the movie merely exists to set up more movies while reminding us of what we loved about the original trilogy. And that comes with an excessive amount of winks and nods to the original trilogy.

Let’s dive into the finer details with our Solo: A Star Wars Story spoiler review. Read More »

deadpool 2 spoiler review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: David Leitch’s surprisingly funny Deadpool 2.)

“This is a family film,” Deadpool tells us early on in Deadpool 2. It is, of course, a joke – a movie loaded with vulgar jokes and ultra-violence can’t really be a “family film.” And yet, there’s an air of truth to this. Because a family indicates growth, and growth is exactly what Deadpool 2 showcases. For all its flaws – like the first film, it’s never quite as funny or subversive as it thinks it is – Deadpool 2 takes the meta world created by the original Deadpool, and builds upon it. It finds new ways to tell an old joke, and for that, it’s (mostly) a success.

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avengers infinity war spoiler review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Avengers: Infinity War.)

Everything dies, baby that’s a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.

– Bruce Springsteen, “Atlantic City”

Does Avengers: Infinity War live up to the hype? That depends. If you wanted nothing more than to see the majority of the Marvel Cinematic Universe characters up on the screen together, then yes, Infinity War delivers. If you were hoping for something deeper, you might find yourself wanting more. Ultimately, Infinity War is a magic trick of a movie, full of deception and misdirection. It entertains, sure – but when the smoke clears, we can’t help but see the obvious way the trick was designed.

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isle of dogs spoiler review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.)

With Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson returns to the magical world of stop-motion for the first time since Fantastic Mr. Fox. The results are frustrating. On one hand, Anderson has crafted a genuinely emotional, frequently funny adventure focused on man’s best friend. On another hand, Anderson has, for some inexplicable reason, decided to use the film to turn Japanese culture into a punchline.

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ready player one spoiler review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One.)

Steven Spielberg has spent nearly his entire career proving his critics wrong. When the filmmaker rose to prominence as a blockbuster wunderkind, there was a prevailing sense among critics that Spielberg was little more than a purveyor of harmless, artless pop – not a serious filmmaker. “If there is such a thing as a movie sense — and I think there is, Spielberg really has it,” critic Pauline Kael said. “But he may be so full of it that he doesn’t have much else.” Yet Spielberg did have much else, and he proved it time after time, crafting a lifetime worth of fantastic, heartfelt, downright magical films.

Until now.

It’s taken nearly 44 years, but with Ready Player One, Spielberg has finally proven his critics right. Here, on the heels of The Post – a wonderful, important film that had the 71-year-old filmmaker still firing on all cylinders – Spielberg offers up a muddled, downright hideous catastrophe. It’s official – Ready Player One is Steven Spielberg’s worst film.

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Pacific Rim Uprising Spoiler Review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Steven S. DeKnight’s Pacific Rim Uprising.)

When it was announced that Guillermo del Toro wouldn’t be coming back for a sequel to his 2013 sci-fi action adventure Pacific Rim, fans of the original movie were understandably worried. Sure, the idea of giant monsters called kaiju battling against giant pilot-controlled robots sounds like it sells itself, but del Toro brought his signature style and passion for monsters and epic fantastical imagery to bring it to life in spectacular fashion.

Pacific Rim Uprising is certainly not a Guillermo del Toro movie, but it benefits from taking place in a world he created that’s rich with mythology. Thankfully, Steven S. DeKnight, along with co-writers Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder and T.S. Nowlin, jumps into this sandbox with an engaging expansion of that mythology, advancements of the wild sci-fi concepts introduced in the first movie, some scrappy new characters, and tremendous action sequences that surpass the thrills and excitement of the first film’s monstrous battles. Read More »

A Wrinkle in Time Trailer

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time.)

I’m going to start this A Wrinkle in Time spoiler review a little differently than normal. I think we, as a critic and audience, should be honest with each other for a moment.

Some of you out there might not be aware of this, but there’s a certain burden that comes with being a woman of color in the film criticism space. To be truthful, I don’t feel this burden all of the time, but I always know it’s there. As I’m surprised to find, writing this review for A Wrinkle in Time happens to be one of those times in which I distinctly feel the pressure I’m under as a black woman to like and laud A Wrinkle in Time, to support director Ava DuVernay. But I can’t honestly do that. The film has a multitude of issues that must be addressed.

However, the film itself can also be reviewed on two different levels: how it performs as a film for children and how it performs as a film for adults.

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jessica jones season 2 spoiler review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Netflix’s Jessica Jones season 2.)

Jessica Jones season 2 has a monumental task ahead of it. Not only does it have to follow the riveting, near-perfect first season, it has to do it from scratch.

The first season of Jessica Jones neatly wrapped up the main storyline adapted from Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos‘ critically acclaimed Alias comic book series after Jessica sent Kilgrave to his — well — grave. Now, the sophomore outing of Jessica Jones is left without Jessica’s main, nay, only supervillain. Where does it go from there?

The seeds of season 2 were planted throughout the first season: an shadowy corporation, illegal child experimentation, new sidekicks. But Jessica Jones doesn’t exactly follow up on those plot threads — and that’s for both better and worse. Instead, Jessica Jones season 2 introduces one of the most fascinating and layered dynamics between complex women we’ve ever seen in a Marvel series. Too bad it’s buried underneath clunky subplots and incoherent narratives.

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