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  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

    Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

    ★★★½

    This is actually good. In basically taking THE BREAKFAST CLUB and replacing 80s rockin' out and some light weed-smoking for getting sucked into a deadly Super Nintendo (?) game, JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE basically becomes the movie that Dean Israelite's POWER RANGERS almost was. It's characters are sharply drawn, its stakes are emotional, and everyone is engaged on a level the material doesn't really demand.

    Come for the Rock and Jack Black giving actual performances; stay for jokes that are actually funny and action sequences that are coherent and not-terrible.

  • Terminator: Dark Fate

    Terminator: Dark Fate

    ★★★½

    TERMINATOR: DARK FATE is a solid sci-fi action film and the only sequel to TERMINATOR 2 that has any brain to speak of. After a clever story twist in the opening scene detonates all expectations, DARK FATE does the unthinkable--it creates its own compelling characters and tells its own story with them. It's madness. Madness!

    The new Sarah Connor-y figure is Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes). She kind of sucks and is boring, but don't worry because before too long Dani…

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  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    It is not an exaggeration to say that STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER is the worst Star Wars movie ever made. In fact, it may not be an exaggeration to say that STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER is the worst Star Wars movie that it is *possible* to make. From a perspective of basic filmmaking craft, it is as poorly conceived and executed as any of the prequels. Worse still, however, is the film's cynical betrayal of what…

  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    ★★★★★

    Quentin Tarantino wants you to remember. He needs you to remember. Perhaps more than any other working director, Quentin Tarantino is preoccupied by the past and what it means. The unkind interpretation of Tarantino’s films is that they are little more than clever, quirky pastiche—a haphazard collage of grindhouse pictures, spaghetti westerns, martial arts epics, and old network TV shows—a distillation of influences rather than a transcendence of them. But I’m not so sure that Tarantino would consider that an…