Review – Midsommar (2019)

By Kevin Muller

What made Ari Astar’s 2018 film, Hereditary, so chilling was the skilled build up to each scene. Most horror films have no subtlety whatsoever that rely on constant jump scares and the sudden heightening of audio effects. Astar’s movies may move at a snail’s pace, but once the scares kick in, he let’s you sit in the fear, paranoia, and any other negative feeling that conjures up in any given scene. Where his first feature lured in darkness, his new film basks in the sunlight. Does he give us a worthy follow up or fall into a Sophomore slump?

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Review – Toy Story 4 & Aladdin (2019)

by Kevin Muller

It may seem that Disney is becoming a juggernaut of the film industry by buying every single part of Hollywood, but they have always been the forerunner in family entertainment. In the 90’s, they were the King of the animation field with classics such as The Little Mermaid, Mulan, and Beauty and the Beast. The latter was the first animated film to be nominated for “Best Picture” when the nomination pool only allowed five films. There was also The Lion King, which will soon have a photo-realistic remake that will have its own review, instead of a shared one. Personally, Aladdin was always a favorite, mainly due to Robin Williams’s legendary turn as the lovable Genie. On top of that, the film also had catchy songs and overall fast and frantic attitude.   Unfortunately, shortly after that film delighted audiences, the downfall of hand drawn animation was about to begin with Disney teaming up with a new company called Pixar. We all know outcome of that merger, but it was 1995’s Toy Story that changed the game forever. Now, both these 90’s properties are back to see what they can do with better technology and an even wider audience.

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Review – Dark Phoenix (2019)

by Kevin Muller

In the year 2000, the first X-Men dropped and showed us that it was possible to create a comic book movie that felt real, while containing the themes of alienation and prejudice. All these modern day super-hero films, from The Dark Knight films to Marvel’s vast cinematic library, owes a great amount of gratitude to what director Bryan Singer brought to that film. This will be the last time we see these characters under the control of 20th Century Fox. Disney, which owns Marvel, merged with the company and now have control of the mutants, so it is only a matter of time until we see a reboot of the story and its characters. For their final go with the property, Fox have decided to adapt the ever popular Dark Phoenix saga again. They touched upon it in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, with mixed results. Does this film improve on it?

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Review – Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

by Kevin Muller

It has been quite a journey for Godzilla. Five years ago, the big green guy got his redemption when Godzilla was released. It had been 16 years since the awful 1998 version, where the “king of all monsters” looked like a discount T-Rex, hit screens and ultimately disappointed both fans and audiences. While the 2014 version wasn’t perfect, it had improved on the look and nature of its title character. What audiences did not care for was the soap opera level acting and drama of its main characters. The total amount of monster time was far too little for many film goers. The studio listened and increased the amount of monster goodness this time around. Does the change improve or hurt the sequel?

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Review – Booksmart (2019)

by Kevin Muller

Olivia Wilde has been in the business for over ten years. As an actress, she’s juggled a career starring in both projects on television and film. On top of being strikingly beautiful, she carries herself with confidence, possessing both a razor sharp wit and deep intellect. Both her parents were respected journalists that rubbed elbows with many influential people during their careers. Wilde has spoken of many anecdotes, from her childhood, involving people from the political and entertainment world. She has been surrounded by respected people all her life. It is a lot to live up to and now she has challenged herself to be more than a pretty face. She has tried her hand at directing a coming of age story, with two female leads. How does she do with her first directorial debut?

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Review – John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

By Kevin Muller

The John Wick saga is for those movie goers who want to be entertained by a different world other than one full of superheroes, time travel, Infinity Stones, or big purple meanies. It’s unrelentingly violent, but stylish, and has a simple story that’s set in a vast and detailed world. Most of all, it has an energetic spirit led by its leading man, Keanu Reeves.

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Review – Dumbo (2019)

by Kevin Muller

The Disney canon is full of animated films that are currently getting live action remakes. This year we have Aladdin, The Lion King, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and this film Dumbo. Each of these projects has a respected director connected to them that have to abide by the guidelines of the mouse house. Dumbo, is a film of extreme sadness about the separation of mother and child. Who better of a person to make that dreadful situation have beauty than director Tim Burton. The most famous film of his Edward Scissorhands was about an isolated creation trying to both fit in and fine love in the world. Can Burton make this story of an elephant, with the gift of flight, have the same emotional impact he gave Edward close to 30 years ago?

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