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799 reviews in total 
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It (2017/I)
3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
fairly faithful adaptation with a good mix of elements to please fans, 9 September 2017

Intense, well-made adaptation of the Stephen King novel transplanted to the late 1980s about a group of outcast kids in the rural town of Derry, Maine who are united by common encounters with the titular being—a demonic, shape-shifting entity that is preying on local children. Emboldened by one another, they set out to kill the creature despite their initial fears, insecurities, and seemingly insurmountable odds. Even with the source material this isn't a traditional, clear-cut horror film, but more of a character-driven, coming-of-age story about friendship and the loss of innocence, with spooky, spine-tingling elements and acerbic, laugh-out loud humor in equal doses. Makes some unfortunate changes from the novel, but some surprisingly effective ones as well that are sure to unsettle the most ardent fans. Skarsgard is ferocious and creepy as the monstrous Pennywise, and kudos to the film's youthful, well-chosen cast for embodying characters that are actually three-dimensional. ***

5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
an enjoyable rendition that you don't really see coming, 7 July 2017

Following his unofficial 'tryouts' in Germany, Peter Parker returns to his home in Queens trying—albeit not very well—to balance his responsibilities as a high school overachiever with the added dangers of being a crime-fighting superhero. When a new and well-equipped criminal enterprise emerges in New York City, Peter naturally wants to try and end the threat, but quickly gets in over his head—much to the chagrin of reluctant mentor Tony Stark. Despite being the sixth go-round, this is a surprisingly refreshing take on the titular character—wisely sidestepping the origin tale formula—and presenting a unique story with a lighthearted tone, coming-of-age themes, and just enough twists and references to weave it within the greater framework of the burgeoning MCU. Holland is wonderful, bringing a youthful ambition and naiveté that hasn't been seen in previous incarnations of the character, while veteran Keaton is a chilling antagonist. Some of the supporting characters are underused, but this is a nice job overall. ***

The Mummy (2017)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
leaves much to be desired, 25 June 2017

Lukewarm debut of the new 'Dark Universe.' Centuries ago, an Egyptian princess was buried in a tomb for her malevolent nature. Fast forward to the present day: Cruise and Johnson are two brash American soldiers on duty in the Middle East where they stumble upon said tomb which—as you'd expect—brings about terrifying repercussions. Some occasionally exciting moments, and some decent special effects are really the only highlight in this would-be adventure as the story never really comes together, the plot twists don't really make any sense, and the acting is underwhelming. Lead actor Cruise is surprisingly one-note, but with this script and direction it may not have mattered; not a very promising start for Universal Pictures. **

Cars 3 (2017)
0 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
not bad but not really needed, 25 June 2017

You can't beat the clock…that's the central theme of this sequel which finds an aging Lightning McQueen in the twilight of his racing years and unexpectedly derailed by a new generation of younger and faster cars. Still convinced that he has a lot left in his tank, McQueen decides to explore some new, innovative training methods to keep up with his youthful competition, but will that be enough to keep him in the game? Has more depth and emotional resonance than Cars 2 (thanks in large part to the presence of Doc Hudson), along with a colorful cast of characters and some truly laugh-out loud moments, it's just never really awe-inspiring, and never seems truly necessary. Fortunately, a short running time keeps it from wearing out its welcome. **½

not quite on the same level but still worth watching, 18 June 2017

Touching animated feature takes place in an 'alternate universe' where an asteroid never resulted in an extinction level event, and dinosaurs continue to exist. The film chronicles a family of herbivores (two parents, three children) as they attempt to maintain their farming lifestyle. This proves to be an especially daunting task for Arlo, their youngest and most reticent child who is looking to 'make his mark.' Eventually, circumstances force Arlo to find out what he's really made of. While it's not quite as sophisticated or as memorable as earlier studio efforts, Pixar still manages to tell a simple, heartwarming tale of grit, friendship, family, and the loss of innocence. Lacks a certain resonance, but still features some great vocal work, clever gags, and stellar animation. **½

1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
a wonder to behold, 5 June 2017

The first solo live-action Wonder Woman film is brought to the screen in impressive fashion by director Patty Jenkins. A prequel of sorts, the film chronicles young Amazonian warrior Diana Prince who trains for the impending return of Ares, the God of War. A chance encounter with military pilot Steve Trevor leads her to believe that she can locate the unscrupulous Ares herself, so she leaves her homeland and finds herself in WWI era London still determined to complete her mission. Unlike previous DCEU films, this managers to tell a compelling—and coherent—story with splendid visual effects, a vivid sense of time and place, just the right blend of action, drama, and humor, along with believable (and engaging) characters. Follows an origin tale formula yet still feels fresh and exciting, and Gadot is magnificent in the central role; a definite step in the right direction for the expanding universe. ***

11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
a retread of its origins, 27 May 2017

Five winters after On Stranger Tides, some of the same key characters (and a few new ones) return for this latest high seas adventure. Callow sailor Henry Turner is on a personal mission to retrieve the Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact thought by many to be a myth. In the course of his journey he crosses paths—and eventually aligns himself with—wanted pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, and ambitious astronomer Carina Smyth. The mission is further complicated when they run afoul of Sparrow's 'frenemy' Captain Barbossa, and learn that a gang of undead sailors are coming their way. Follows essentially the same formula as The Curse of the Black Pearl, but the characters lack charisma (even Depp seems curiously subdued), the story is never really engaging, and all the rip-roaring action scenes and special effects can only carry this uninspired journey so far. Bardem effectively sneers and snarls as Captain Salazar, but he's one of the few highlights in an otherwise forgettable entry. **

0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
like most sequels, probably about as good as it could've been, 5 May 2017

Having successfully defended the galaxy, the Guardians continue their adventures and struggle to keep their newfound 'family' together which proves difficult as they encounter a new assortment of threats, and even more so when their leader Peter Quill finally begins to unravel the mystery surrounding his true parentage. Given the surprising impact of its predecessor, this is probably about as good a follow-up as one could hope for with big, booming action and effects sequences, colorful characters, eclectic music, and enough silly humor to help balance out the poignant and dramatic moments. It's not quite as much fun as the first, and the storyline isn't quite strong enough to hold up, but it's still a good time and creates a lot of potential for the MCU moving forward. **½

4 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
as expected, goes through the motions, 14 April 2017

As the 'story' begins, Dom and Letty have settled down into a peaceful and quiet existence, until Dom is coerced by a notorious cyber-mastermind (an icy Theron) into turning his back on his family and aiding said mastermind in a complex scheme that isn't really worth mentioning as long as it sets things in motion. The director F. Gary Gray (who shows in this film just as he did in The Italian Job that he really knows how to use cars) tries to revitalize the material as you get the expected larger-than-life action scenes, and a few surprises here and there so as not to make it seem like you're watching the previous seven films all over again. The script is filled with so many absurdities, and the acting is so wooden that it makes it easy to cut to the chase: does it make sense? No. Are the characters three-dimensional? No. Is the dialogue witty or lucid? No. Does it do what it sets out to do? Absolutely! Is it a worthy addition to an already overlong franchise? That's for series devotees to decide. **

Passengers (2016/I)
doesn't end on a high note, but the journey is an interesting one, 9 April 2017

In an unspecified future, a starship travels across the galaxy en route to the next habitable planet while carrying a cargo of passengers and crew members who remain in suspended animation, until a malfunction awakens two passengers (one male, one female) who are total strangers to one another. With approximately ninety years remaining until they reach their destination, they're forced to make the most of where they are despite their inevitable doom. An intriguing blend of romance, sci-fi odyssey, and suspense thriller, this features some genuinely powerful moments, and the interstellar effects are a wonder to behold…but it all unravels and resorts to convention in its final act. Still, Pratt and Lawrence breathe plenty of life into their characters, making this a satisfactory—if incomplete—movie experience. **½

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