Superheroes

[6] It’s weird that we now live in a time when a studio is willing to make the same movie twice, only a few years apart and call it by the same title. But here’s DC’s The Suicide Squad… again. This time it’s written and directed by James Gunn, who brought Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy to life in a fun and heartfelt way. With …

[6.0] [SPOILER WARNING] Part-way through production on 2017’s theatrical version of Justice League, director Zack Snyder suffered a tragic loss in his family and had to step away from the production. Joss Whedon (The Avengers) was then called in to finish the film and oversee re-shoots (Snyder retained sole directing credit). I suspect the studio also wanted Whedon to tighten up the pacing and bring …

[5.0] Gal Gadot returns as Wonder Woman in Patty Jenkins’ more fanciful sequel, Wonder Woman 1984. The muddled plot introduces a mysterious ‘dreamstone’ that grants one wish to whoever holds it. Gadot’s Diana Prince wishes for the return of her one true love, played by returning co-star Chris Pine. An envious colleague played by Kristen Wiig wishes to be like Diana — not realizing the …

[3.0] In the sewers beneath New York City, a big talking rat trains four big talking turtles to become ninja warriors so they can be shadowy superheroes to would-be victims in the night. Now, right away, you’re either going to run with this or you’re not. I can run with it — but what I can’t run with in this first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles …

[7.0] Tom Hardy stars as an investigative reporter who becomes the unwilling host body for a gloppy alien creature — named Venom — that gives him superhuman powers. At first the possession experience is scary, with Venom being very much in charge. But eventually Hardy and his counterpart negotiate a relationship as they seek to stop an rich, evil scientist from bringing more dangerous aliens …

[5.0] After being part of an ensemble in The Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie returns in the role of Harley Quinn — a character that really isn’t built to carry her own movie. She’s a former psychiatrist who fell in love with the Joker and turned to the dark side. In other words, she’s nuts and dangerous. She can only function as a funny, charismatic villain, …

[8.0] On its surface, Joker is an origin story about Batman’s arch-nemesis. So at first glance, you might mistake it for ‘just another superhero’ movie. But writer/director Todd Phillips and actor Joaquin Phoenix have actually made a film that transcends the comic book genre. Joker works as a disturbing character study, an all-too timely allegory, and a provocative meditation on a theme — something we …

[6.0] Tom Holland is far and away the best reason to ever see a Spider-Man movie these days. He’s charming, charismatic, funny and incredibly watchable. So as long as he’s our Spidey/Peter Parker, I guess I’ll keep watching these spider flicks. What else is good about Far From Home? It’s nice to see parts of Venice and Prague. Some of Peter Parker’s friends have cute …

[5.0] I would call myself a pretty big fan of the X-Men movie franchise. I’ve enjoyed all but a few of them, and regard X2: X-Men United, Days of Future Past, and Logan as exceptional entries. I even enjoyed the more maligned The Last Stand and Apocalypse. But the latest installment in the series, and reportedly the last, is the most disappointing chapter since X-Men …

[8.0] Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige and writer/directors Joe and Anthony Russo hit a home run that should satisfy all Marvel fans with Avengers: Endgame, the climactic finale to what is essentially an 11-year story arc. It begins with the Avengers — Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) — all …

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