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Movie Review: The Bad Batch
Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  

The- Bad Batch Header

The Bad Batch
Written & Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour
Cast: Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Jim Carrey, Jayda Fink
Annapurna Pictures | Neon Films
Rated R | 115 Minutes
Release Date: June 23rd, 2017

In 2014’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour showcased her unique style, blending genres while maintaining a minimalist approach. Her Iranian vampire/spaghetti western film earned international acclaim, but also garnered a lot of reviews uttering the phrase “style over substance.” In her latest film, The Bad Batch, she adheres to all of these traits, positive and negative, again. The Bad Batch is at times brutally violent, at times wonderfully poignant, and all together completely bizarre. It’s one of those films where it ends and you kind of just sit there pondering for a few seconds as the credits roll. What did I just watch? Did I love this movie or hate it? The one thing that sticks with me is what I wrote mid-film, “This is like if Mad max f*cked The Neon Demon.”

Spoilers below.

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Movie Review: Transformers: The Last Knight
eelyajekiM   |  @   |  

Transformers: The Last Knight feat Bumblebee

Transformers: The Last Knight
Director: Michael Bay
Screenwriters: Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan, Art Marcum
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock, Isabela Moner, Jerrod Carmichael, Jim Carter, John Goodman, Ken Watanabe, Omar Sy, Peter Cullen
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Rated PG| 149 Minutes
Release Date: June 21, 2017

Transformers: The Last Knight continues the franchise’s long line of large-scale visuals, epic explosions, poorly written scripts, and lack of care for its own continuity. Even after four of these films, the new Transformers installment fails to learn from any of the previous lessons, and instead, chooses to double down (or should I say quadruples down) on them. So let’s not stand on ceremony and just say what we already know: Transformers: The Last Knight is just another two and half hours’ worth of explosion porn fest with a nonsensical script that has plenty of sexual overtones and characters that play to their racial stereotypes. Oh, and let’s not forget all those explosions and shouting matches. Check out my full review below.

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Movie Review: Cars 3
eelyajekiM   |  @   |  

Cars 3

Cars 3
Director: Brian Fee
Screenwriters: Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson, Mike Rich
Cast: Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Armie Hammer, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Nathan Fillion, Kerry Washington, Lea DeLaria
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
Rated PG| 109 Minutes
Release Date: June 16, 2017

One of the things that continues to impress me about Pixar’s Cars franchise is its resiliency and heart. Though it is considered to be one of Pixar’s weakest franchises, it managed to become a trilogy. It may not resonate as much with fans as some other Pixar films do, but Cars has continually shown that it has what it takes to be great. Even if it that means it needed to take two “very safe” films to get there. So Cars 3 doesn’t take any huge risks, it takes an unconventional approach to possibly ending Lightning McQueen’s (Owen Wilson) story.

While that is a bit refreshing for the franchise, it does come with its own set of issues and concerns. All of it depends on how you look at it. Check out my full review below.

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Movie Review: 47 Meters Down
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

In 47 Meters Down, Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt) get up close and personal with sharks while cage diving in Mexico

47 Meters Down
Director: Johannes Roberts
Screenwriter: Johannes Roberts, Ernest Riera
Cast: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine, Chris J. Johnson, Yani Gellman, Santiago Segura
Distributor: Entertainment Studios
Rated PG-13 | 85 Minutes
Release Date: June 16, 2017

The late Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert once said, “No good movie is too long, just as no bad movie is short enough.” By that measure, 47 Meters Down was the longest 85 minutes of my life. It’s precious time that I’ll never get back. It’s time I would have gladly spent stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic or at the dentist’s office getting holes drilled into every tooth in my head.

Co-written and directed by Johannes Roberts (Storage 24, The Other Side of the Door), 47 Meters Down is a horror-thriller starring Mandy Moore (This Is Us) and Claire Holt (The Vampire Diaries) as sisters who go looking for adventure and find it in a shark-diving excursion that goes horribly wrong.

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Movie Review: The Mummy (2017)
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

Movie Review: The Mummy (2017) Sofia Boutella

The Mummy (2017)
Director: Alex Kurtzman
Writers: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, Dylan Kussman
Cast: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Russell Crowe
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 107 Minutes
Release Date: June 9, 2017

“Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters.”

If you’re a moviegoer in the year 2017, odds are you’re familiar with the concept of a “shared cinematic universe.” Whether it’s the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s The Avengers or the DC Extended Universe’s upcoming Justice League, we understand that these franchises are built on standalone stories set within the same continuity, leading to crossover events and team-up films.

The idea of a shared cinematic universe came into being over 70 years ago with the emergence of Universal Monsters. Following their popular silent films, 1923’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame and 1925’s The Phantom of the Opera, Universal Studios began developing talkies based on other classic horror characters. 1931’s Dracula and Frankenstein got things started, followed by The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), 1935’s Bride of Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man (1941).

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Movie Review: Wonder Woman
eelyajekiM   |  @   |  

Wonder Woman Header Image

Wonder Woman
Director: Patty Jenkins
Screenplay: Geoff Johns, Allan Heinberg
Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date: June 2, 2017

Given that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad received such poor reviews (including from me), it’s easy to believe that WB could not put out anything remotely entertaining within the DCEU. Their constant meddling and the films’ lack of care certainly proved that they were not up to the task of competing with their rivals at Marvel Studios. But then came Wonder Woman. And this isn’t just about her own standalone film, which opens this weekend — we’ll get to that later — this is about her literally carrying the weight of the DCEU on her shoulders. For it was her who saved Batman v Superman from being a complete abomination. Her wit, her mystery, her power, and her inspiration that carried on throughout that film that had many asking when is Wonder Woman going to get her own feature.

Now that time has come. After years of standing on comic book shelves, the character has finally gotten her own film, simply titled Wonder Woman. Her own story to tell, with no assistance from the Dark Knight or the Man of Steel. Through stunning grace, incredible power, and mighty courage, not only is Wonder Woman what a superhero film should be, it showcases an empowering figure who should be an inspiration to anyone, but most importantly to females who have waited for a character they could look up to.

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Movie Review: Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
eelyajekiM   |  @   |  

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Director: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
Screenwriter: Jeff Nathanson
Cast: Johnny Depp, Kevin McNally, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios
Rated PG-13 | 129 Minutes
Release Date: May 26, 2017

While it may be based on a theme park ride, there’s no denying that Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise is the very definition of popcorn summer movie fun. Pure escapism. Though the last entry, On Stranger Tides, tried to do something different to reinvigorate the series, the film was a minor misstep. But now comes the next adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

With a pair of new directors in Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki), and a new screenwriter in Jeff Nathanson, the franchise sails back to its roots and what makes these films so wonderful. Big on excitement, plenty of great characters, and lots of fun. The only problem is that there isn’t enough rum to go around. Check out the full review below.

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Movie Review: Alien: Covenant
DwayneD   |  @   |  

Alien Covenant poster

Alien: Covenant
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenwriter: John Logan and Dante Harper
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo, Demián Bichir
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Rated PG-13 | 122 Minutes
Release Date: May 19, 2017

The truth is that while I liked Alien: Covenant, I didn’t love it. What’s tragic, aside for the future the prequel sets humanity up for, is that all it would have taken to make the film phenomenal was some small tweaks and changes.

Alien: Covenant lacks the same emotional heights sci-fi fans associate with Ridley Scott’s film of 1979 or James Cameron’s 1986 sequel, though it’s not without merit. Chief among the complaints is that the new film seems to sit on the franchise’s laurels rather than push it forward in the way Casino Royale did for James Bond or Logan did for X-Men. It’s been 38 years since the original Alien thriller, but this movie lacks some of the lauded learnings and innovations of modern science fiction cinema.

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Movie Review: King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword
eelyajekiM   |  @   |  

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword review header

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword
Director: Guy Ritchie
Screenwriter: Guy Ritchie, Joby Harold, Lionel Wigram.
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law, Eric Bana, Annabelle Wallis
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 126 Minutes
Release Date: May 12, 2017

The legend of King Arthur has existed for well over a millennia, and as such has given way to countless interpretations of stories, TV shows, and films. So while we may be familiar with the name, there will always be a new way to look at the legend, a new way to tell the story, and a new way to rake in the cash. So just as superheroes are popular now, Guy Ritchie is giving audiences a reason to look at iconic literary characters. But while his previous efforts from the Sherlock Holmes films to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. may have been richly stylized and highly entertaining, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword suffers from a serious case of style over substance.

Check out the full review below.

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Movie Review: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2’
eelyajekiM   |  @   |  

Yondu and Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Director: James Gunn
Screenwriter: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 136 Minutes
Release Date: May 5, 2017

James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy was once considered one of the riskiest films that Marvel Studios could ever release. It was an unknown property which cast three relative unknowns and gave two A-listers voice roles. However, the film’s surprising success proved that a quirky, hilarious, musically-charged space opera could work as a superhero property. Who would have thought a roguish space outlaw, an alien assassin, an alien manic, a gun-toting raccoon, and a talking tree would be our favorite a-holes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Now they are back for round two in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. As with all sequels to a universally loved film, expectations run unbelievably high. Fortunately, Gunn never misses a beat. It’s absolutely terrific and just as fun, if not more fun, than the first. But it’s also one of the few Marvel films that’s emotionally driven. Check out my full review below.

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