Category Archives: Long Reviews (>400 Words)

Captain Marvel (2019) Movie Review

Note: If you consider a plot synopsis of the first act of a movie a spoiler, then spoiler warning for this review. That is all.

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Vers (Brie Larson) lives, with partial amnesia, on Hala, the homeworld of the Kree civilization. She spars with Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), who encourages her to Continue reading Captain Marvel (2019) Movie Review

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Paddleton (2019) Movie Review

Michael (Mark Duplass) sits in a doctor’s office listening to his diagnosis. Andy (Ray Romano) stands at his side. They’re friends, of a sort, though their go-to descriptor for the relationship is “neighbor.” As Andy tries to wrap his head around Michael’s diagnosis—cancer, most likely of the terminal variety—he stammers. Flustered, he tries to get a straight answer out of the doctor, who has nothing to offer.

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Then, Michael and Andy go about their regular day. They play a racquetball variation called “Paddleton.” They watch the same kung-fu movies on VHS. They do puzzles together. They say little and share a lot.

Paddleton takes the very serious subject of Continue reading Paddleton (2019) Movie Review

Greta (2019) Movie Review

There is something perversely compelling about Greta, the new film from Neil Jordan. At the same time, there is something far too familiar about the film, a terse obsession thriller.

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Perhaps the fascination begins and ends with the inimitable Isabelle Huppert, who literally pirouettes through her pathological, homicidal character. She is Continue reading Greta (2019) Movie Review

Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Movie Review

Centuries in the future, Earth has been ravaged by a vague war known as “The Fall.” Most people live in squalor, while the elite live in a sky city named Zalem. A doctor who performs cyber-prosthetic surgery, Ido (Christoph Waltz), discovers in a junkyard of scrap metal the remains of a cyborg. He rebuilds her, calls her Alita (Rosa Salazar), and explains the world to her for our benefit.

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She doesn’t remember anything of her past, but soon enough everyone in the city’s underbelly (and a select few from the city above) want her dead. Funnily enough, Alita just happens to be Continue reading Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Movie Review

Isn’t it Romantic (2019) Movie Review

At an early age, Natalie (Rebel Wilson) is taught from her mom that she is not the type of woman they make romantic comedies about. Those movies don’t fit into real life; at least, they don’t fit into what her real life will be. “We’re no Julia Roberts,” Natalie’s told. If they made a movie out of her life, they would have to “sprinkle Prozac on the popcorn.”

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Natalie has carried these values, perhaps subconsciously, into her adult life. She assumes she is blind to the world, and thus she allows herself to be pushed around at work. She is Continue reading Isn’t it Romantic (2019) Movie Review

High Flying Bird (2019) Movie Review

Steven Soderbergh’s last film, Unsane, was shot entirely on an iPhone. And the discomfort that came from such an isolating, wide-angle experience made sense in the setting of that film. All the same, the narrative of Unsane left something to be desired.

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Steven Soderbergh’s second film to be shot on iPhone, High Flying Bird, interrogates the business side of professional basketball. Its discomforting lenses make Continue reading High Flying Bird (2019) Movie Review

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Movie Review

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is just what implies; it is a second helping, a rehash of the surprise hit that tries to recapture the magic but ultimately falls short.

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Following the events of The LEGO Movie, the world inhabited by sentient LEGO beings has fallen into chaos. It has become Continue reading The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Movie Review