REVIEW: Stranger Things: Season Three (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of the third season of Netflix’s Stranger Things — Created by the Duffer Brothers.

Today, Stranger Things is, alongside The Crown, probably the original show that has become the face of Netflix. The first season of the series was a surprise hit that seemed to have significantly overperformed. It was a nostalgic 80s science-fiction drama with children in the leading roles that made people think of E. T., The Goonies, and many other films like those. It was a 2016 breakout hit that gave career boosts to David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, and Finn Wolfhard. The much anticipated second season, which was released the following year, wasn’t met with as much acclaim, but still succeeded in developing characters’ relationships satisfyingly while still bringing pleasant references to the beloved 1980s-era cinema, with Aliens now being the primary inspiration. Continue reading “REVIEW: Stranger Things: Season Three (2019)”

REVIEW: Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Sony Pictures Releasing

The following is a review of Spider-Man: Far From Home — Directed by Jon Watts.

Do note that this review includes spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.

Isn’t it crazy that Tom Holland has already played Spider-Man in five movies? Holland hasn’t even been Spider-Man for as many years as Tobey Maguire was, and Maguire only appeared in three films. Even though Tom Holland’s first solo film only came out two years ago, a lot has happened since Tony Stark first took Holland’s Peter Parker under his wing and presented him with a snazzy suit powered by Stark Industries technology. Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame happened. Parker was snapped out of and back into existence, he lost his mentor, and, somehow, five years went by in the blink of an eye for your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Continue reading “REVIEW: Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)”

Box Office Predictions – July 2019

In July, Sony and Disney duke it out for the box office bucks. Though there are a lot of really interesting films that I’m looking forward to this month, I’m focusing on two blockbusters in this edition of Box Office Predictions. Can a live-action remake dominate the month that also gives audiences the follow-up to Avengers: Endgame, or will another superhero movie define a month of the year? Continue reading “Box Office Predictions – July 2019”

REVIEW: Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros. Pictures

The following is a review of Annabelle Comes Home — Directed by Gary Dauberman.

The lesson Hollywood first learned from the Marvel Cinematic Universe was to rush into these grand connected universes of films. The DC Cinematic Universe almost crashed and burned. The Godzilla-King Kong connected universe of films is currently struggling. Meanwhile, the Universal Monsters so-called ‘Dark Universe’ never really got off the ground. Surprisingly, the attempt to copy the highly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe that has worked the best has been the Ed and Lorraine Warren-inspired Conjuring Cinematic Universe. Continue reading “REVIEW: Annabelle Comes Home (2019)”

REVIEW: Yesterday (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Universal Pictures

The following is a review of Yesterday — Directed by Danny Boyle.

What would you do if you woke up one day and found yourself in a world where no one knew of The Beatles? Just picture it. This world wouldn’t think of John, Paul, Ringo, and George when they thought of Abbey Road. People wouldn’t know the words to “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yesterday,” or “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” and you would be the only one in the world who could be the vessel and voice of their genius. Would you tell the world of their music, or would you make a career off of their work? In Danny Boyle’s Yesterday, the failing musician Jack Malik (played by Himesh Patel) finds himself in that situation after he is involved in, and knocked out by, a car crash during a worldwide power outage. Malik eventually decides to take credit for the song-writing to advance his career, but, in doing so, he soon realizes that he’s letting go of the person that means the most to him. Continue reading “REVIEW: Yesterday (2019)”

REVIEW: Murder Mystery (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review Murder Mystery — Directed by Kyle Newacheck.

I go back and forth when it comes to Adam Sandler. I love plenty of the audience-favorite comedian’s films. I think Sandler is gifted with tremendous dramatic talent, which he showcased with his performances in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories. He is still a very funny stand-up comedian if his excellent Netflix special Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh is anything to go by. But, more often than not, Sandler is known for his comedies. More often than not, Sandler is known for his not-so-fresh, critically panned comedies. Sandler and Netflix have made about a handful of Happy Madison-comedies together, and, thankfully, though Murder Mystery isn’t exactly a home-run, it is far superior to the godawful, snoozefest that last year’s The Week Of, arguably the worst film of 2018, was. Continue reading “REVIEW: Murder Mystery (2019)”

REVIEW: Booksmart (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – United Artists Releasing

The following is a review of Booksmart — Directed by Olivia Wilde.

Before I saw Booksmart, it had been impossible for me to avoid the online bombardment of incessant comparisons between Booksmart and Superbad. The comparison made sense, even when I hadn’t seen the film. This is a coming-of-age film about two best friends who want to have a good time before they leave for college. Also, one of the two leads in Booksmart is Superbad-star Jonah Hill’s sibling Beanie Feldstein. Having now seen Olivia Wilde’s directorial feature debut, I have to admit that it would be wrong to say that it isn’t very similar to Superbad. Thankfully, though, I grew up with Superbad. I love Superbad. So it pleases me to say that any comparison to Superbad is by no means meant to be anything other than a compliment of the highest order. Booksmart is a modern, sweet, and gender-swapped, next-generation version of Superbad and I loved every minute of it. Continue reading “REVIEW: Booksmart (2019)”