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  • Aladdin

    Aladdin

    ★★½

    It's no secret that I went in expecting to hate this, but there was also a part of me that desperately wanted to enjoy it - a part that felt almost guilty for going in with the mind of the hater. And I'll be the first to admit: it's not unwatchable. The cast is charming and charismatic, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott very much included. The story itself remains timeless and entertaining. Even Will Smith is at least fun. And…

  • John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

    John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I'm actually pretty surprised that so many people are cold on this. I think maybe the marketing is partly to blame; in retrospect, lots of the trailers and pull-quotes in the TV spots seemed to subtly imply that this was the conclusion of the trilogy, when in fact it's very much a middle chapter in a larger story. Expectations of finality will definitely not be met. I should also mention that I'm not super attached to this franchise - I…

  • Booksmart

    Booksmart

    ★★★★½

    The rare "instant classic" that also feels revolutionary and daringly creative in every choice it makes. I have some issues with the overload of profane humor; sometimes the amount of red-band, taboo-breaking jokes just jumps the shark and ceases to be authentic. But lord, there were so many beats here where I thought the movie was gonna go a familiar route and then Wilde did something entirely new with the execution. Without a doubt the most well-directed high-school movie I've ever seen in a theater. Best editing contender for next year, no question.

  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Spider-Man: Homecoming

    ★★★★

    I enjoy how this is one of the only Marvel movies with funny running gags and bit parts and cameos. It's truly a comedy more than anything else. All the little quirky "that's so high-school" touches just make it perfect.

  • Searching

    Searching

    ★★★★½

    Watched it with a group of people who hadn't heard of it. All the twists and turns and little comedic beats absolutely kill. People were totally on the edge.

  • The Proposal

    The Proposal

    ★★★

    Watched it with the lady, so again, it gets an arbitrary extra half-star

  • Captain America: The First Avenger

    Captain America: The First Avenger

    ★★★★

    This is a very, very good movie. #CapWasNeverBoring

  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu

    Pokémon Detective Pikachu

    ★★★½

    You could just hear that cinematographer and production designer going “HELL YEAH BLADE RUNNER VIBES!” That 1st AC was having trouble with the focus pulling early on though, wasn’t he?

    This is basically a cartoon brought to life onscreen in all the best ways. Super campy, super silly, super cool. Did you really come see the movie called *DETECTIVE PIKACHU* for subtle exposition and believable emotional beats? Nah. You came for a fun world, cute lil monsters, and maybe some…

  • The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

    The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

    ★★★

    Infinitely more obnoxious, choppily edited, and overall *loud* than the original, but still pretty clever and visually exciting. The critique of toxic masculinity is great, and in a weird way I admire that the writers were totally okay with the plot making a grand total of *zero* sense because it’s taking place inside the mind of a child. “Not Evil” still goes SO HARD

  • Avengers: Endgame

    Avengers: Endgame

    ★★★★½

    Marvel’s messy masterpiece. Covered my thoughts in a video here: youtu.be/8bVFyVoFqn8

  • Captain America: Civil War

    Captain America: Civil War

    ★★★★½

    People underplay how much this movie is fueled by legitimately great (and wholly unironic) character drama. The Russos really know how to work with characters both on an individual level and as a unit. Even so, the action is incredible; I still get chills during that Cap/Tony/Bucky fight in the end. It's just...perfect.

  • My Life as a Zucchini

    My Life as a Zucchini

    ★★★★½

    Dimensional and layered characters, beautiful (and often poignantly unsettling) animation, heavy themes that aren’t shied away from. My 7-year-old cousin with a father who’s a recovering alcoholic begged us to watch it. I think that says a lot.