Braveheart Battle Spears editorial 

“I DON’T WANT TO LOSE HEART. I WANT TO BELIEVE.” – BRAVEHEART and the Importance of Fictional History

[Spoilers for Braveheart follow.]

Braveheart is one of the most frowned upon Oscar Best Pictures winners in recent history. Comparing its rotten Tomato Score (which is how we do things now) to all of it’s Oscar winning kin from the 90’s onward, only 4 films sink lower in critical opinion than its 78% “above average” score. [These are Forrest Gump (1994) 72%Gladiator (2000) 76%A Beautiful Mind (2001) 75%, and Crash (2005) at 75%,)] This puts Braveheart in the 20th percentile of its class.

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Deadpool with drawing review 

DEADPOOL – Because Why the Hell Not?

DEADPOOL is not attempting to be a deconstruction of the superhero genre. It’s not a critique of the hero’s journey. It’s not trying to reinvent anything, and it’s certainly not trying to be a masterpiece of cinema. DEADPOOL’s just happy to be here, have a good time, slice up some folks on his Naughty List while rattling off juvenile insults, profanities, and general silliness. He’s Spider-Man without the responsibility, the snark turned up to 11, and the rating clocked firmly to “R.” He’s Marvel’s SOUTH PARK, and he has no higher aspirations than to amuse you for a couple hours in his very own super revenge comedy.

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Casey Affleck in The Finest Hours review 

THE FINEST HOURS – Damp Men Doing Brave Things

THE FINEST HOURS is as middling as films come, consistently engaging, but never quite hitting the thrilling heights that it could have with a tighter pace and a shorter running time. The film has the same struggle as many other dramas that have been “Based on a True Story.” Real life, even in phenomenal circumstances such as these, rarely plays out in a typical 3-act structure, with action rising into a climax, immediately followed by a satisfying conclusion. The upside, of course, is that a weight and legitimacy is added to the proceedings that you don’t get from pure fiction. THE FINEST HOURS benefits from this, but is hampered by a soggy third act, in which the tension deflates as slowly as the second act climax was built up. Action become repetitive, and then the film literally moves into slow motion as even the protagonists just seem tired and done with it all. This is meant to be played as a final beat of terror. What if our heroes are just too cold and tired to finish their journey to safety? But instead, it just leaves the audience feeling as cold and exhausted as the characters.

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BB-8 rolling review 

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – Revisiting and Remixing a Galaxy Far Far Away…

J.J Abrams had his work cut out for him. By design, Star Wars: The Force Awakens demands to be judged by more criteria than most movies, yet how well it stands on its own is, surprisingly, least relevant of them. The film juggles the many responsibilities of being a remix/reboot emphasizing the most beloved elements of the classic trilogy, a clean jumping-on point for a new and expanding global audience, and a satisfying new chapter in an expanding saga (or at least better than the shitty prequels), 

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Ant-Man running with ants review 

ANT-MAN – A Little Adventure With Big Heart

Fear not, Marvel aficionados. Ant-Man is just as fun, and awesome, and weird, as you have hoped! Is it as perfect a blend of high-adventure and comedy as Edgar Wright would have done? … No. Not quite. But Peyton Reed does an admirable job with the material, working with a hero who’s both hilarious, and hilariously awesome. The movie starts out a tad uneven, with some flat jokes and awkward interactions, but finds its footing by the second act, and soars once the action picks up.

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Melissa+McCarthy+and+Miranda+Hart+get+excited+in+Spy review 

SPY – Proficiency is More Than Skin Deep

I’m pretty sure there is a 1:1 correlation between the people who love Melissa McCarthy and people who will really enjoy SPY. It’s pretty much a vehicle designed to cram all the Melissa McCarthy they can into a film, in all her different iterations. Do you like seeing her insecure and timid side? She’ll warm you up with that. Do you like seeing her viciously tear into some fools with a string of expletives that would reduce Kanye West to tears? Yup. She does that too. She’ll even go a…

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Max+dragging+his+chains+as+the+wives+look+on,+terrified review 

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – An Unexpected Masterpiece of Adrenaline

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is metal as fuck. It’s the purest and one of the best straight action films I’ve seen. While the film rarely takes a breath during its two hour runtime, the little snippets of characterization provide compelling reasons to root for the heroes, and even sympathize with its villains. Also, while I don’t know if you could call it a “feminist piece”, it handles a surprising wealth of female characters with incredible grace, never falling prey to the genre’s most common failings of damseling its women or…

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Avengers Age of Ultron hero shot review 

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON – “I’m Calling Veronica”

Do you like roller coasters? Do you like Marvel movies? If you answered “yes” to both of these, AGE OF ULTRON is going to be a hella good time for you! Go see it. Now. You’ll probably want to ride it again as soon as you’re through. If your answer was “no” to either of those, or you’re concerned with the film’s currently measly 75% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, let me address the concerns. Roller Coasters: This film has 6 protagonists when it starts, and the number only grows from…

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