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  • Ouija: Origin of Evil

    Ouija: Origin of Evil

    ★★★½

    It's kind of a thankless job to write and direct a horror movie that is a prequel to a poorly critically received movie, and one based on a Hasbro "game" nonetheless -- maybe if there is a tenth level of hell, this would be it -- but somehow Mike Flanagan (who got some public recognition, well deserved, for the movie "Oculus") pulls it off and makes his escape from a potential inferno. "Ouija: Origin of Evil" might not be in…

  • Morgan

    Morgan

    ★★½

    It was kind of ironic watching "Morgan," since obviously it can't help but be compared to Alex Garland's "Ex Machina" released the prior year -- both involve the creation of a sentient creature and how it fares in its interactions with regular human beings. As I observed the cast of "Morgan" sharing a meal around a table, my mind flashed back to a different Garland film (he wrote the script) called "Sunshine," where another equitably sized team also shared food…

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  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    ★★★★

    Whether the reverberations of Lucas' first trilogy here are viewed as a homage and bridge between the old and new or as a lack of imagination will depend on one's personal tastes and the long-term intentions of the creative staff.

    There is a LOT of "The Force Awakens" that echoed things we've seen before. Some of the settings seem awfully familiar even if given other names, and from a high-concept level there's not much of a plot (First Order AKA…

  • Captain America: Civil War

    Captain America: Civil War

    ★★★★½

    In some ways, "Civil War" scans as an Avengers movie, as it is mainly concerned with the team's future on the international level and has a huge roster of probably 13-14 heroes. (At some point, I lost count.) But somehow the Russos pull this off without really diluting the characters; everyone seems to get the amount of face time they deserve based on the dynamics of plot and relationship, and each is firmly established in terms of what they want,…