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  • Aliens of the Deep

    Aliens of the Deep

    ★★★

    [Reviewing the extended 100 min. version on DVD.]

    More than just pretty animals with narration, it connects deep sea exploration with space exploration, Mars, Europa, aliens, and climate change. For engineers it also lingers on the technology and tools needed to do the work.

    Also admirable, it portrays scientists as Heroes and Problem Solvers and the research team is led by a young black female biologist.

    The other star is James Cameron's Ego which thankfully doesn't overshadow the proceedings. James…

  • Cleopatra

    Cleopatra

    ★★★★

    [ 248 minute, 50th Anniversary Restored Version ]

    We need to get back to this type of filmmaking: large practical sets, plenty of human extras, visually colorful, dialogue driven, lingering shot length, and no over-reliance on CGI.

    The scale of the production is among the most epic I've seen with many huge sets (not just one or two), including full scale ships doing battle at sea and a horse army in the desert. As an epic CLEOPATRA outdoes even the…

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  • Captain Marvel

    Captain Marvel

    ★★★

    It gets my copy + paste Marvel review:

    "Dodgy bad guy/ plot elevated by likable actors, production design and set pieces = a mild recommendation."

    In this case the MVP is Sam Jackson in a co-leading role, giving us the most backstory on Nick Fury to date, through the amazing special effects wizardry of de-aging.

    Lee Pace, Djimon Hounsou, and Agent Coulson all return as minor characters seen in other MCU movies... making CAPTAIN MARVEL one of the most "interconnected"…

  • Once Upon a Time in America

    Once Upon a Time in America

    ★★★★½

    Will someone answer that damn phone? The past is calling.

    [Note: rating is for the 251 minute "Extended Director's Cut"; all other versions are inferior]