Suicide Squad

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You’ve seen the trailers over and over for months. Worst. Heroes. Ever. A band of misfits is asked to go and save the world from certain danger in exchange for clemency. Harley Quinn! Deadshot! Killer Croc! The Joker! Looks like a lot of fun, right? Although Suicide Squad owes quite a bit of debt to films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Natural Born Killers, etc. it is definitely a departure from the paint-by-numbers superhero flick. So the excitement from potential audiences is definitely understandable. And after the disappointing trudge that was Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, surely the folks
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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What should audiences expect from a blockbuster superhero film? What should I (a big batman nerd) expect from a film promising an epic showdown between two of the most beloved comic book characters of all time? What should we (movie-going population as a whole) expect from a gigantic movie that’s main objective is setting up a larger shared universe to rival Marvel’s highly successful hit-machine? Those are questions that have many different answers, but for me it comes down to two questions, “Is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a good movie?” and “Was it entertaining?” Which the answers are
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A Critic’s Dozen: Best Films of 2015

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1. Mad Max: Fury Road Fury Road is the reason we go to the cinema. A modern day Stagecoach that is no doubt likely to resurrect a lost old school style and flare of the action genre. Director George Miller gives us something that we can celebrate, that is after we catch our breath. We pick up with Max (Tom Hardy) being captured by a group of war boys and taken to the Citadel ruled by the evil monger Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). You may recognize Keays-Byrne from the first Mad Max, he played the villain Toecutter in the 1979
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Deadpool

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With year after year of superhero overload, it was only a matter of time before somebody tried to flip the formula on its side and bust up a very by-the-numbers genre. Enter – Deadpool. He’s rude, crude and socially unacceptable, yet somehow this merc with a mouth finds fans pulling for him to save the day. He’s an anti-hero, and Deadpool tries its best to be the anti-superhero movie and in some ways, succeeds. It’s definitely a refreshing change of pace with a more targeted adult audience. Deadpool has enough f-bombs to match its ultra-heavy body count. Wade Wilson (Ryan
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The Hateful Eight

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The Hateful Eight is one of those films that I suspect I will grow to love over time. It’s probably about 30 minutes too long, it’s noticeably uneven, and it’s Tarantino’s most overly-talky film to date, but yet I cannot find enough reasons to not highly recommend it. Its gratuitous violence seems a bit over the top even for Tarantino. Blood spills all over the place in this one, but it isn’t at all cartoonish violence like we saw in Kill Bill. The movie is ugly and truly “hateful”, but damn it if it isn’t one of the most entertaining
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Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

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The Force Awakens is much more than a new installment in the one of the biggest movie franchises of all time, it’s also an event of grand magnitude for hundreds of thousands of fans. You can tell director J.J. Abrams paid close attention to that fact when he brought this new installment to the big screen. This new movie wastes no time on giving rabid fans what they want and drives our nostalgia at warp speed. (Minor Spoilers to follow) We get right to it when the film opens up on the planet Jakku, where hotshot X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron
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Black Mass

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There are moments in Black Mass where it seems like there’s getting ready to be a big payoff, or the film is finally going to hit on all cylinders, but when it finished I realize those moments never came.  Bland, and ultimately pretty boring Black Mass tries its best to be your typical paint-by-numbers gangster movie, but lacks the energy or charisma of classic mobster flicks. It’s a film that could’ve greatly benefited from a light dressing of cliches as opposed to being drenched in them.  It hits every mark on the mob movie cliche hit list including gratuitous language and
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Straight Outta Compton

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  Biopics are a tricky thing.  If you have a compelling story based on true events, then they can really be effective.  But, if you have an actor portraying an icon it’s easy for that performance to appear as bad impersonation, distracting you from the journey.  That’s not the case with Straight Outta Compton.  The story of one of the first big rap groups N.W.A., pioneers of Gangster Rap, is not only surprisingly poignant, but it’s quality film making at a high-level. There are great performances across the board, and none of which feel like hokey imitations.  Strong turns by
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Mad Max: Fury Road

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You’ve probably heard it all about Mad Max: Fury Road.  “Non-stop action thrill-ride.” “Best summer movie in years.” “Genius” “Masterpiece.”  ALL TRUE. The almost unanimous early buzz shouldn’t be seen as mere fanboy hyperbole, but serve as a ringing endorsement to get off your butt and go see this movie on the big screen. It’s really hard to find a critique of a film that is almost perfect in every way.  Fury Road is the reason we go to the cinema.  A modern day Stagecoach that is no doubt likely to resurrect a lost old school style and flare of
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Avengers: Age of Ultron

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The gang’s all back together and then some as director Joss Whedon and company try to top the commercial and critical success of Marvel’s The Avengers. There’s a lot going on inside this mega follow up. New characters, all kinds of subplots to aid into Marvel phase 3 flicks, and the ante has been upped with all the major action sequences. The story is way too crowded, the battle scenes are pretty flat, yet somehow Avengers: Age of Ultron overcomes its sequel shortcomings to be an overall satisfying experience, especially for the hard core comic fans. The strength of this
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