Lothar Diving into Combat in Warcraft review 

WARCRAFT – As “Not Terrible” as Game Adaptations Come

Movies based on video games are never “good”. Often they’ve been “godawful” (Super Mario Bros.), with a few falling into the so-bad-they’re-good category (DOA: Dead or Alive). The best they ever get is “okay” (Resident Evil), with the vast majority falling into the “bland” (Prince of Persia) or “gimmicky” (Final Fantasy) categories. So it may surprise you when I say that I really enjoyed Warcraft, While it certainly has no shortage of “bland” elements, and stumbles over a lot of chances it had to excel, I think it’s about as close as I’ve seen to a video game adaptation being “good” without actually earning that qualifier. It certainly has enough standout qualities for me to call it “above average”. As The Powerwaifu so aptly put it, “I wouldn’t kick it out of bed.” 

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editorial 

FOOLED AROUND AND FELL IN LOVE – The Surprising Subtext of the Soundtrack to GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

James Gunn set a new trend in film a year before Guardians of the Galaxy even released into theaters, and it all started with the AWESOME MIX VOL. 1. When the film’s teaser trailer released, thousands of digital purchases for the song “Hooked on a Feeling” immediately followed. The obscure but fun oldie contrasted and complemented the sci-fi visuals so succinctly that audiences immediately were on board with a movie starring a talking tree and machine-gun-wielding raccoon. Seemingly overnight, popular action movies like Suicide Squad and Star Trek Beyond also had classic pop songs in their trailers. As James Gunn put it, “Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.”

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Mystique choked in X-Men Apocalypse review 

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE – “Everything they’ve built will fall!”

Leaving the theater, my disappointment with X-Men: Apocalypse felt very strange to me. In fact, I’ve never felt so simply weird about a superhero movie in my life. After some reflection, I finally realized why that was. Apocalypse is just like a comic book, and that’s why it sucks.

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russell+crowe+and+ryan+gosling+in+the+nice+guys review 

THE NICE GUYS – Losers Worth Rooting For

If you know who Shane Black is, you likely already know if you’re going to like The Nice Guys. For all the rest of you – As the creator of the Lethal Weapon series, Shane Black is basically the father of the modern buddy cop genre. (He’s also the first dude on screen to ever get offed by a Predator.) Almost two decades later, he reinvented his own take on “Two Wacky Dudes Solving Crimes” with his directorial debut, the wildly deconstructive, and constantly unpredictable, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, This film bears the distinction of simultaneously being the last thing Val Kilmer was in that anybody cared about, and the device that rebooted Robert Downey Jr.’s career post-drug abuse scandal. RDJ returned the favor by bringing Black in as the writer and director of Iron Man 3. Black returned that favor by giving Marvel its 3rd best selling, and by far most unpredictable film. 

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keegan-michael+key+and+jordan+peele+rescue+keanu review 

KEANU – You Gotta be Kitten Me

Keanu, from the comedy duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele seemed like a sure-fire comedy hit. During its five season run, their sketch comedy series Key & Peele was consistently hilarious – often brilliant social satire. The duo share a mixed race heritage. Both have black fathers and white mothers, and they have often leveraged this unique position to discuss things about race that few other comedians could speak to, much less get away with. Having spent a lifetime being seen as “shady” by whites and “domesticated” by blacks, their sketches regularly had them hitting either extreme. They poked fun of the social norms that divided their cultures, while showing how arbitrary it was to adopt them to fit in. In Keanu, they hit these same notes again, but to diminishing returns.

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captain+america+civil+war+airport+battle review 

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR – A Double Page Action Splash Spread with Feeling

Captain America: Civil War, is a finely tuned, tightly paced, smartly scripted, big budget, action-packed jamboree. It’s both a continuation of Captain America’s (currently) 5 movie character arc, and the 13th episodic chapter in the ever expanding Marvel movie lineup. Most of all, it’s proof that Superhero films don’t need to be trivial to be fun, and don’t need to be “angsty” to be deep. They simply need creators who get what they’re working with, and why it works. Civil War is quite nearly a damn flawless movie, and it’s an indication that Marvel isn’t losing steam – they’re just getting started.

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Hardcore Henry Fight review 

HARDCORE HENRY – Takes “Like a Videogame” As a Compliment

When I first saw the trailer for Hardcore Henry, the first thing I thought was, “What a stupid gimmick.” The second thing I thought was, “Why the hell has it taken Hollywood so long to try this!?!” The feature is a grand experiment in filmmaking. It’s not the first full length movie to ever be filmed entirely in the first person perspective (see the 1947 film Lady in the Lake for that distinction), but it’s certainly the first to use a head strapped GoPro camera to push the technique to its balls-to-the-wall limits. Needless to say, if you’re at all prone to motion sickness, you may want to pop some dramamine before watching.

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Charlie Cox as Daredevil and Jon Bernthal as The Punisher review 

DAREDEVIL (Season 2) – Punishingly Entertaining

In Season 2 of the standout Netflix/Marvel superhero drama, Daredevil, both the show and its titular hero begin to get comfortable with themselves, for better and for worse. Matt Murdock is tougher, more cocky, and is noticeably beginning to actually enjoy his violent escapades. Gone is the doubt and self reflection that plagued him in Season 1, which simultaneously makes him a more powerful hero and an insufferable know-it-all. What he’s gained in street cred, he’s lost in his ability to connect to others. Matt’s misguided descent in the world of his alter-ego is a crucial and purposeful part of his arc this season, but what’s interesting is that these same qualities extend to the show as a whole.

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Batman v Superman - Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill face off review 

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE – Dark and Steely Men

Let’s get one thing out of the way, BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF FRANCHISE is a terrible movie. and this is a huge bummer. Its script is a mess, both its screen talent and its characters’ legacies are wasted, and its action is shockingly boring. It may actually amount to the greatest disparity between potential and payoff that I’ve ever seen in a superhero film (and I’ve seen Fant4stic).

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Gods of Egypt - Horus and Bek review 

GODS OF EGYPT – aka Pop Stars of Narnia

As a student of film, GODS OF EGYPT is fascinating… fascinating in a “How in the hell did this get greenlit with a $140 million budget?” kind of way. Let’s set aside the film’s quality for a moment and just wonder at that. The film is not based off of any pre-existing franchise (not even a shitty YA novel), has no headlining stars with box-office draw, a director (Alex Proyas: I, RobotDark City) with an uneven track record, and yet SOMEHOW this film got greenlit by a Lion’s Gate subsidiary with the budget of a minor Marvel film and the assumption that they had a replacement franchise for Hunger Games on their hands.

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