What we have here is a dynamite premise fumbled in the execution. BRIGHTBURN gives us a strange visitor from another planet crashing to Earth as a baby and taken in by a good-hearted, infertile farm couple (Elizabeth Banks, David Denman) in the midst of baby fever. As with that other story of an infant from… Read More »
The stakes have been raised so many times with event flicks that, when approaching one, hope is always tempered with experience about what to expect, to paraphrase Samuel Johnson. With AVENGERS: ENDGAME, though, hope wins out. The spectacle is everything it should be, and the story, of necessity a meandering thing, is nonetheless sustained by… Read More »
There is a wondrously cheesy sincerity to SHAZAM! that makes its weak spots irrelevant. It is, in many ways, as pure of heart as its champion, and just as giddy about discovering that magic is real. Plus, there’s that flaming Santa running for his life during the climactic final face-off between good and evil.
We learn many things in M. Night Shyamalan’s GLASS. We learn that the Philadelphia police department has an abysmal response time. We learn that a fully staffed psychiatric hospital has only two orderlies its employ. And we learn that James McAvoy still cries more manfully than any other actor working today. Possibly ever. He is… Read More »
BLACK PANTHER is the standard by which all other superhero movies this year will be measured. Maybe this decade. Showcasing the expected show-stopping special effects, a rich mythology from the Marvel comic on which it is based, and plenty of rousing action that is both imaginative (weaponized rhinoceroses) and genuinely suspenseful, it gets the most… Read More »
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR asks the cinematic question “What would happen if we took a whole passel of superheroes from the Marvel Comic universe and tossed them together into one film?” But wait, what if we pitted them against one another over a fundamental difference of opinion about ethics, and then added a dash (or… Read More »
For most of BATMAN V SUPERMAN’s bloviated pretension, I was merely bored. This half-baked idea studded with ponderous pronouncements, shockingly sedate action sequences, and the simulacrum of serious philosophical inquiry plodded along, weighed down by an overstuffed plot and an underdeveloped narrative. But when we arrived at a meticulous recreation of the deposition from the… Read More »
Superheroes say much about the culture that spawned them, and so it is with the various incarnations of Batman. In the 60s, he was a pop icon with more than a little camp fluttering around his satin go-go boots. In the 80s and 90s, it was a wallow in excess with sets that duked it… Read More »