Sinister characters converge around a young man devoted to protecting those he loves in a postwar backwoods town teeming with corruption and brutality. (IMDb)
Well-made, not just in its technical elements but in the way it deftly ties its many characters and generation-long plot threads together in such a satisfying (and ultimately surprisingly positive, as suspicion and violence give way to trust and sleep) manner, making for a powerfully morbid epic on the dangers of religion. That said, it’s done through a distanced, fairy tale-like approach that prevents it from ever reaching emotional dramatic excellence despite solid turns by the whole cast.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
Two elven brothers embark on a quest to bring their father back for one day. (IMDb)
Hits a lot of the familiar road trip story beats but the Americana x magical fantasy setting is a unique one (gorgeously animated) and provides a good share of memorable moments (most notably Guinevere’s heroism that had me in tears). The real gem of the film though is the last act featuring good ol’ (dragon-conquering) Mom and a completely unexpected, incredible, beautiful, heart-wrenching emotional climax (not the sweet but on-the-nose journal writing flashbacks but the silent view from afar).
7.5/10 (Really Good)
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever. (IMDb)
A bit of a scattered sequel, with some promising new elements not fully realized (the Endgame aftermath and emotion isn’t committed to; the initially intriguing villain is sloppily developed-see the ham-fisted exposition at the bar). The awesome action and sly commentary on superhero sci-fi and spectacle (“nowadays they’ll believe anything”) that come with the twist are great though, as is the continuation of the coming-of-age comedy and plot from its predecessor (see the bridge awkwardness).
Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City. (IMDb)
A well-executed mix of goofy teen comedy (see the hilarious school news reports), wild superhero action, and authentic coming-of-age drama (see the breakdown beneath the rubble). It’s the most down-to-earth MCU film yet thanks to its blue-collar, nuanced villain (see his slight post-credits redemption) and the continued interplay (dramatic but also humourous: see Cap’s instructional videos) between the mature but distant Avengers and our eager but juvenile hero (“I’m nothing without the suit!”).