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  • Life of the Party

    Life of the Party

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

    A non-exhaustive, mostly chronological list of things about this shockingly incompetent movie that confounded me, a person who has issues:

    - Lest you wonder if Melissa McCarthy's Deanna has a terrible husband, he is introduced complaining about carrying his daughter's belonging ten feet, holding the school's tuition cost over his daughter, reminding his wife that she never graduated from college, and then forcing his (not tall) wife to close the back hatch of their SUV by saying "Hatchback" and walking…

  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Solo: A Star Wars Story

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

    There's nothing interesting about the way Solo fills in the gaps of our knowledge about Han Solo.

    Those details are fun, on occasion, and they do a decent job of leveraging our familiarity to drive interest in the fairly standard space western heist structure of the film, but there's no there there, and the film never really pretends that there is. There's a few clunkers in the winks to the original trilogy, but there's still some value to knowing some…

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  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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

    In theory, I really like the idea of retconning Bruce Wayne into the end of Man of Steel.

    It's an inspired idea: take the criticisms of the death toll at the end of that film (which I honestly believe had not even occurred to Snyder before people got upset about it), give them a voice in Bruce Wayne, and use this to anchor the conflict between the two superheroes.

    In practice, it first runs into problems when the film is…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

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

    I've seen Fury Road twice now. It was interesting returning to something so sharply linear for a second time, which wouldn't work with a certain type of film (even if that film were great). But the opaque way Fury Road opens means that returning to it helps you appreciate how sharply the film understands that distinction between what you need to know to engage with the movie and its themes, and what you don't.

    I hadn't registered the "news reporting"…