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  • Avengers: Endgame

    Avengers: Endgame

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Of course these movies mean something to me. Back when I was still rating them with stars, I tossed 'em out like candy, and I've talked at great length about which ones helped me along my healing process. I have to finish this decade-plus of narrative, and my entire body of film criticism, with the assertion that I'm not made of freakin' stone--but all I can take from my reaction is the knowledge that Evans' Captain America means a lot…

  • Avengers: Infinity War

    Avengers: Infinity War

    I didn't mean for the last few months to feel like a farewell tour--it's just nice to recognize the symmetry, you know? The silly, number-23 notion that everything circles back around to this film; and its sequel/second half, the too-perfect title upon which to cap off a career. Heck, I didn't even tell you about the circumstances that led me to politely mention my problems with Infinity War to Mark Ruffalo. (He asked, and was very indulgent.) Back then, I…

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  • Avengers: Infinity War

    Avengers: Infinity War

    ½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I can call Infinity War garbage because it is garbage--but I can only get so worked up about its purpose and ambition, its "grand scheme," when I tell you that I'm giving this another Doctor Strange half-star. Intertextuality and all that. Still, this Avengers leads me to the same conclusion as the last one: that the MCU, or Marvel or Disney or Kevin Feige, cannot squelch the auteur's creative voice. But now that they've financed enough creative voices to form…

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    ★½

    Canon is an unbreakable contract, and yet Jakku is Tattooine, and there's nothing cyclical about it. The title crawl formally introduces the FIRST ORDER and the RESISTANCE, which are, very self-consciously, synonyms for EMPIRE and REBELLION--the sort of words that you use when you're trying to make a knock-off or, at the very least, a parody. Abrams uses them as a reassurance that you'll never see those big bad prequels again, and all of your favorite characters have been locked…