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  • Justice League

    Justice League

    ★★★

    Despite some heroic battle moments and characters that should be larger than life, "Justice League" often feels just.... underwhelming. (So those who liked Snyder's last two films will probably be okay with this one; those who hated the last two films will likely hate this as well.)

    I wonder why it's actually this hard. Marvel makes it look easier. I didn't find the tone to be as shifty as some have said (although I am wondering now HOW many inserts…

  • Thor: Ragnarok

    Thor: Ragnarok

    ★★★½

    Thor: Ragnarok might not be everything the gushers make it out to be, but it's a fun ride and a huge step forward compared to the first two stuffy, self-important, stultified first installments -- far more akin to Walt Simonson's "Thor" than anything that preceded it. Maybe it doesn't resonate with as much emotional depth as needed to elevate it to godliness, but for what it is, it's the most palatable Thor release. And there are some genuinely funny bits…

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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,…