OnScreen Review: "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum"

OnScreen Review: "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum"

John. Wick. Baba Yaga. The man you send to kill the boogeyman. A former assassin who got sucked back into the criminal world because someone stole his car and killed the dog that his dead wife had got him to help him grieve. Who knew when we were first introduced to this simple but effective action movie premise that we were going to be treated to the best action franchise of the decade? John Wick set the stage, but John Wick: Chapter 2 took it to a whole other level in 2017. That film expanded the horizons of the world we were introduced to in the first film. Now, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum has arrived and while it does expand the scope of the Wide World of Wick some, it is more interested in exploring the studio space that has been created for it. No, really Baby, explore the space!

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OnScreen Review: "Detective Pikachu"

OnScreen Review: "Detective Pikachu"

Pokémon was a phenomenon of the 90s that came in just as I was ageing out of the target demo it was aimed at. Because of that, I’ve never fully understood the craze or the appeal of them, but I know it is a beloved thing of many a person’s childhood, even if I was largely dismissive of it for the more than 20 years it’s been around now. I openly made fun of my friends who lost their minds over Pokémon Go a few years ago.

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OnScreen Review: 'Shazam!'

OnScreen Review: 'Shazam!'

It’s 2019 and they’re making movies about everything now. First it was The Angry Birds Movie. Then came The Emoji Movie. Now we’re getting Shazam!. Look, not every phone app needs a movie! Ok, so Shazam! is actually not about the music app on your phone. It’s actually another superhero movie, which may cause some people to groan, by DC, which may cause more people to groan. But it’s actually a pretty entertaining movie and comes at the superhero genre from a unique if not quite fresh perspective.

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OnScreen Review: 'Us'

OnScreen Review: 'Us'

Early on in Us, a homeless man is seen holding up a cardboard sign that says Jeremiah 11:11. When I got out of the theater from seeing Us, I quickly looked up this Bible verse, curious as to what it said. “Therefore, thus says the Lord, Behold, I am bringing disaster upon them that they cannot escape. Though they cry to me, I will not listen to them.” This ominous verse from the prophet Jeremiah, spoken to the people of Israel, is a warning of judgment for breaking their covenant with God. It’s an interesting find by Jordan Peele, the director of Us, the follow-up to his debut directorial effort, Get Out.

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OnScreen Review: "Captain Marvel"

OnScreen Review: "Captain Marvel"

21 movies into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and we have our first one with a female lead. This has been a dividing issue for many, for some it is an empowering moment about representation and for others (idiots, in my opinion) it’s a chance to show their trollishness and insecurity. I think it’s great that Captain Marvel, like Black Panther before it, serves a demographic that hasn’t been served by previous films in the MCU and potentially grows the market for Marvel. But ultimately, what matters is whether the content is good and worth coming back to for more, so let’s delve into that, and maybe a bit into the female empowerment for good measure.

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OnScreen Review: "Artic"

OnScreen Review: "Artic"

I love a good survival movie. I thoroughly enjoyed movies like The Edge and Cast Away when I was a teen. In the past few years there have been a few good ones, too; in particular Gravity and All Is Lost.  Man’s struggle to survive either in extreme conditions or on the edge of existence is enthralling to me. As such, I was very interested when I saw a poster and eventually a trailer for Arctic, starring Mads Mikkelsen.

Arctic places Mikkelsen‘s Overgård in the middle of a snowy nowhere, somewhere in the Arctic Circle, following him through his daily routine. His routine is set to the timer on his watch, and it quickly becomes apparent that he has been there for some time in a downed plane. He has a giant SOS message dug out of the snow and permafrost, fishing lines that he checks, and a daily hike that involves mapping his location and running a hand-cranked distress signal for a few minutes each day.

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OnScreen Review: "How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World"

OnScreen Review: "How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World"

If you had told me at the beginning of the decade that an animated film would spawn a trilogy that nailed all three movies that came out this decade, I would probably have been very curious to see what Pixar had planned. While Pixar has never worked at that pace on their sequels, DreamWorks Animation has had a few very successful franchises that they have kept going. Arguably, the best in overall quality has been the two How To Train Your Dragon movies, and How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a satisfying cap on the trilogy.

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OnScreen Review: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

OnScreen Review: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Coming five years after the wildly successful original, Warner Bros has released The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. Nearly everyone is back from the first film in some capacity. The prolific duo of Chris Lord and Phil Miller, who wrote and directed the first film, remain as screenwriters but have handed off the directorial reins to Mike Mitchell.

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OnScreen Review: "Mary Poppins Returns"

OnScreen Review: "Mary Poppins Returns"

Pretty much everyone who loves movies as a kid gets exposed to Disney’s catalog, though there usually ends up being gaps here and there. My sister was obsessed with a handful of Disney animated movies, so those were on constantly in our house growing up, but a few slipped through the cracks, as did much of the older Disney live-action movies. Mary Poppins was one of those films I missed growing up, only to cause quite the consternation amongst my friends who adore it when I revealed that when Saving Mr. Banks came out a few years ago. Shortly after seeing that, I remedied the situation and did quite enjoy Mary Poppins, though I suspect not to the same degree I might have if I’d seen it when I was younger. Over 50 years later, Disney has returned to the character with Mary Poppins Returns.

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Top 20 Films of 2018

Top 20 Films of 2018

2018 has been a unique year. Typically, when I get to the end of the year, there are a handful of limited releases that haven’t expanded to where I live, and I don’t get to see them until mid-January. This year, there are only one that I want to see that I haven’t managed to get to yet: If Beale Street Could Talk. Because of that, I feel comfortable crafting my year-end list of the best films of 2018 now rather than waiting. I’m going to list twenty, but I’m only going to devote a sentence each to 11-20. Let’s just get right into it!

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OnScreen Review: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

OnScreen Review: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

We are living in a period where we’ve reached peak superhero. The market is saturated with movies as well as TV series that are based on comic books. As much as I enjoy most of them, even I am starting to feel a sense of superhero fatigue at the movie theater. However, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a nice antidote to that creeping fatigue, bursting with creativity, a rich animation palette, and a willingness to get weird.

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OnScreen Review: "Boy Erased"

OnScreen Review: "Boy Erased"

Hollywood has long had this habit of studios putting out twin movies, films that have a similar theme within the same year or months apart from each other. Armageddon and Deep Impact, Mission To Mars and Red Planet, Girls Trip and Rough Night, This Is the End and The World’s End, the list goes on and on. This year, we’ve gotten twin movies out of adaptations of stories about gay conversion therapy. The Miseducation of Cameron Post was released late this summer, an adaptation of a novel.

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OnScreen Review: "Creed 2"

OnScreen Review: "Creed 2"

2015’s Creed was a highly enjoyable and highly successful expansion of the Rocky franchise from director Ryan Coogler. It featured Michael B. Jordan in the role of Adonis Creed, son of Apollo Creed, and Sylvester Stallone’s iconic Rocky sliding into the Mickey for Adonis. Sticking with a familiar formula but also finding ways to be newer and fresh, Creed II is a welcome next chapter.

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