• Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts

    Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts

    I’m not the Harry Potter fan of the family so I don’t have much to say regarding the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts (2022) television/streaming special beyond mentioning that I was really confused when Emma Watson’s younger years flashback had Emma Roberts instead. But now I’m even more unhappy that it won’t be a shared experience because HBOMax immediately re-edited it like it was the blue jeans man in the The Mandalorian (2019-ongoing).

  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

    The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

    The Nutcracker and The Four Realms (2018) sports an expensive and visually-striking shell that is entirely hollow inside. The predictable story and uncompelling characters are forgettable at best.

  • Spider-Man: No Way Home

    Spider-Man: No Way Home

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

    It wasn’t long after Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) revealed that with enough care and attention audiences would enjoy new superhero multiverse content that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) devoted itself to a string of such shows and films. The latest edition to this list is the coming-of-age superhero film Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021). Director Jon Watts and crew cake on the fan-service as they attempt to align the previous 26 MCU films with 6 other outside Spider-Man and Spider-Man…

  • Dune

    Dune

    “It’s coming. I see a holy war spreading across the universe like unquenchable fire. A warrior religion that waves the Atreides banner in my father’s name. Fanatical legions worshipping at the shrine of my father’s skull. A war in my name! Everyone shouting my name!” – Paul Atreides, Dune (2021)

    An adaption of the Frank Herbert’s best-selling science-fiction cornerstone novel Dune (ser. 1963, pub. 1965), Denis Villeneuve’s space epic Dune (2021) easily surpasses its predecessors as it successfully weaves the…

  • Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway

    Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway

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

    Following the Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (1988) film in the Universal Century timeline and based on the first of Yoshiyuki Tomino’s Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway's Flash (1989-1990) novels, Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway (2021) gives new, spirited life to the three decade old story of a famed terrorist, the soldier tasked with quelling his insurrection, and a mistress who forcibly befriends them both.

    Hathaway (2021) excels mightily in translating the visual style and language of the legendary Gundam franchise while still…

  • No Time to Die

    No Time to Die

    15 years of Daniel Craig performances as the legendary MI6 agent “007” James Bond culminate in its grand finale, No Time To Die (2021), which is the 27th entry of the series but the 25th film by the canonizing Eon Productions. Taking the best aspects from all of No Time to Die (2021)’s predecessors, writer and director Cary Joji Fukunaga, who is primarily known for his work on season 1 of True Detective (2014-ongoing) television series as well as the…

  • Point Break

    Point Break

    Inspired by Kem Nunn’s crime fiction novel Tapping the Source (1984), Kathryn Bigelow’s “wet western” Point Break (1991) delivers wave after wave after wave of surfing montages with chunks of crime action bromance crammed in between. 

    On paper this film is nothing special. The characters are stereotypes, their dialogue is campy, and the main plot points are smothered in cliche. And yet, there is something unmeasurable and indescribable under the surface making Point Break (1991) far more than the sum of its parts.

  • LuLaRich

    LuLaRich

    Based on the meteoric rise and disastrous fall of women’s clothing business turned pyramid scheme LuLaRoe, Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason’s LuLaRich (2021) delivers a addictively compelling first half that feels a bit overextended by the time of its final lap. That being said, even with lackluster and inevitable result, this film still wows with crazy occurrences like surprise Mormonism, sibling marriage, and more. If you want the scoop on “girl bosses” and “boss babes”, Amazon Prime has you covered.

  • In the Heights

    In the Heights

    Based on Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In The Heights (2005), Jon M. Chu‘s musical drama adaption In The Heights (2021) survived more than a decade of development limbo to land limply in the box office during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    A fan of both stage and cinematic musicals, I really wanted to like the “universally acclaimed” In The Heights (2021). Unfortunately, it just did not live up it reputation with a painfully lackluster delivery and overcooked, hyper-commercialized…

  • Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

    Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

    Yet another disjointed and detached entry of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020), or Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey depending on who you are talking with, attempts to make something of the famed “Birds of Prey” (1996) comic team-up by combining it with the one redeemable aspect of the dumpster fire we all know as Suicide Squad (2016), actress Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. 

    This is a difficult…

  • Space Jam: A New Legacy

    Space Jam: A New Legacy

    More of a 115 minute HBO commercial than a standalone sequel to Joe Pytka’s Space Jam (1996), Malcolm D. Lee‘s live-action/animated sports comedy Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) has faint glimmers of greatness that fade within seconds of their arrival. A great example of this would be the Michael Jordan cameo which was fun but left me sad that “His Airness” MJ was not involved at all. 

    Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) uses world-hopping as an excuse for…

  • Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow

    Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow

    A continuation of the three-part theatrical release recut of Sunrise’s Mobile Suit Gundam (1979-1980) television series, Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow (1981) is given the arduous task of trimming an extremely bloated mid-season down to a more manageable watch while remaining congruent and cohesive. This is an undertaking that it completes a bit unevenly. 

    Stacked with a string of iconically heartbreaking deaths, Soldiers of Sorrow (1981) struggles to establish a linear path between these goal points, leaving several sections extremely…