Eighth Grade (2018) Movie Review

Bo Burnham is a stand-up comic with a distinct style. Semi-musical, semi-poetic, always frantic and unpausing, he skewers media and self-reflexively dissects the public perception of artistry. “Art is dead,” he sings in one song. “Some people think you’re funny / how do we get those people’s money?” His seemingly cynical take on the entertainment industry is curbed by his indictment of self. He implicates himself—“My drug’s attention / I am an addict / but I get paid to indulge in my habit”—in order to subvert the creator-as-god mentality.

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Some of the conversation around Eighth Grade, Burnham’s debut as a feature film director, is about the Continue reading Eighth Grade (2018) Movie Review

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Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018) Movie Review

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies begins with a reel of comic book panels flipping rapidly. It appears like a title card from a Marvel film. However, the camera pulls out to reveal a person flipping through a comic. After dispatching (sort of) a giant bubble supervillain, the Teen Titans—Robin (Scott Menville), Starfire (Hynden Walch), Cyborg (Khary Payton), Raven (Tara Strong), and Beast Boy (Greg Cipes)—sneak into a movie premiere, where the film “Batman Again” is screening. The auditorium is jam-packed with DC comics superheros, some attending in order to watch themselves on screen.

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That is the type of movie Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is. It is the child-friendly Deadpool. A cousin to The LEGO Batman Movie. It is a film whose Continue reading Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018) Movie Review

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) Movie Review

Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the sixth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise, and like all long-lasting Hollywood franchises it serves a steady-handed formula.

The plot of Fallout, then, needs little explanation. American secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is tasked with finding and retrieving a series of MacGuffins. To do so he reassembles a familiar team. Hunt will dangle high in the air. He will run at top speed. He will go rogue. All in pursuit of a narrative fueled for the contrived sake of action set pieces. All of which are stellar, so who am I to complain.

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If nothing else, Fallout is the breeziest two-hours-twenty that you’ll spend in the theaters this summer. It is an achievement of Continue reading Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) Movie Review

Sorry to Bother You (2018) Movie Review

Sorry to Bother You is the sort of film that wants to do so much, and delights so much in each thing that it attempts to do, that it is hard not to get caught up in the manic world and unique artistic voice. On the other hand, the further you go into unpacking the densely-packed funhouse of oddities in the film, the harder it is to wrap your head around why you enjoyed the viewing experience in the first place.

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To be clear, it is difficult to explore this funhouse without delving into crucial plot details that are better experienced untarnished, as predictability is a word that holds no meaning in the final third of the film. But there is something that Continue reading Sorry to Bother You (2018) Movie Review

The Equalizer 2 (2018) Movie Review

There is something inexplicable about The Equalizer 2. For one, and perhaps most importantly, it is the first sequel that legendary actor Denzel Washington has chosen to take part in. Why this particular project struck his fancy is hard to say. He seems to enjoy the wise man action hero personality. He has a history of collaboration with the film’s director, Antione Fuqua.

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But the script for The Equalizer 2 couldn’t be called impressive. It structures a feature length film. But the plot slides away from the brain like bland scrambled eggs off of a nonstick pan. There is nothing Continue reading The Equalizer 2 (2018) Movie Review

Unfriended: Dark Web (2018) Movie Review

No film in theaters today is more of its time than Unfriended: Dark Web. In the Internet Age (at this point we may as well move into a new age, given how different the internet is in 2018 compared to 1991), a constant influx of computerized content is the norm. We live, breathe, and are governed on the internet.

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But Dark Web, the sequel to Leo Gabriadze’s 2014 low-budget horror hit, is not so much concerned with the very real corruption that breeds on the internet. Instead, it focuses its attention on Continue reading Unfriended: Dark Web (2018) Movie Review

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) Movie Review

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is both what you expect it to be and not at all what you might want it to be.

For one: if you have a soft spot for the silver screen Mamma Mia!, don’t expect a whole lot from the original cast. One hall of fame actress, in particular, is in noticeably short supply. And don’t go into this thinking, based on the trailer, that Cher comes in to fill the void.

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But don’t fret: there is still plenty of Pierce Brosnan. I just can’t understand why they don’t give him numerous musical numbers…at least he mugs, pursed-lipped, to camera at every chance he gets.

I joke, because there isn’t Continue reading Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) Movie Review

One man. Millions of movies.