With an animation style inspired by the recent "Spider-Verse" films and a hip, kinetic energy influenced by movies like "The Mitchells vs. The Machines," "Mutant Mayhem" is not your father's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
In fact, in many ways, it's better.
Imagine me - a male film critic - somehow posturing myself to think that anyone would care about my review of a "Barbie" movie. To think that my take matters sort of undercuts the spirit of the entire film...women - Barbie included - do not need my stamp approval or my "thumbs up," nor does it feel appropriate. That being said, it feels very "male" of me that I would continue on giving my opinions regardless.
Understand that "Barbie" is a movie that EVERYBODY should go see, but I would like to fully acknowledge upfront that this is a movie best appreciated by women, or those that grew up with the uber-popular, iconic Mattel Barbie dolls. There are several call-backs, references and jokes aimed at the entire past line of Barbie dolls...from the pregnant Midge doll, to her younger sister Skipper whose breasts would grow if you rotated her arm, to Ken's "buddy" Allan (all of Ken's clothes fit him!). If you don't know much about Barbie, there is still fun to be had, but not nearly as much as for those in the know.
"Barbie" isn't perfect, but that's sort of the point and the modern approach to the character, isn't it?
Indiana Jones may not be as good as he once was, but he's as good once as he ever was.
His latest - and billed as his last - adventure takes place in "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny," a fitting if somewhat safe and straight-forward final chapter to one of the greatest film sagas of the past half-century.
The bar is always set exceptionally high when you hear the word "Pixar." The animation studio has of course given us some of the very best movies - animated or otherwise - that have been made over the last 3 decades.
With that framing in mind, "Elemental" isn't among the very best of Pixar. But it is the sort of movie that we frankly need more of.
It's fast, furious and funny. But traveling faster than the speed of light comes with the increased risk of tripping up.
The long-awaited, somewhat controversial "The Flash" has finally reached theaters. And while it deals with yet another messy multiverse that at times runs itself in circles, Ezra Miller's dual role as a future and past Barry Allen gets this one past the finish line...just barely.
***SOME MINOR SPOILERS TO FOLLOW***
I couldn't imagine caring about SPOILERS for a Transformers movie, but if you don't already know what's coming - scene after scene of mindless action, lame jokes, awful characters and zero stakes - then be warned: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.
Specifically, the "stinger scene" during the end credits will be spoiled. You've been warned. *** SPOILERS AHEAD ***
It is impossible to believe that the 2018 animated "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" could be improved upon. "Hold my web-shooter," says its sequel, the new "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse."
A lot of big words get thrown around in movie reviews, but I can confidently say this: I have never, ever seen a more visually ambitious movie - animated or otherwise - than "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse."
Go see it at all costs...it's one of the best, most crowd-pleasing films, of 2023.
The "Fast & The Furious" franchise is really its own thing by this point. If you love these movies, then they can't do much wrong (even if Part 9 tried very hard to do so). With "Fast X" we are now 10 movies in, with over 6 BILLION dollars made worldwide since that first film back in 2001.
The good news is that this latest chapter is leaps and bounds better than the dismal, franchise-worst "F9" (read my review of that film here). But the franchise itself is showing more than just signs of wear-and-tear. It's getting time to pull this one into the junkyard.
As far as "Fast & The Furious" movies go, "Fast X" is exactly what you would want it to be, and I'd rank it in the upper echelon of films in this saga. The main issue is not the laughable, implausible action sequences. Nor is it the bad acting or cheesy dialogue that consistently waxes poetic about the virtues of "family." No, the big problem is how repetitive these movies have become. They have their own formula, and at this point that formula has been run into the ground.
To put it in racing terms, it may be exciting to watch the Daytona 500, with its 500 laps around the track. Watching "Fast X," it feels like we're on lap 5000, and the exhilaration we felt from the earlier laps has all but dissipated.
"Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3" (GOTGV3) is awesome on a number of different levels. It's also my favorite Marvel movie at least since "Avengers: End Game," and perhaps of all-time.
James Gunn - recently recruited to relaunch and reimagine the DC Cinematic Universe - completes the GOTG trilogy of films with an action-packed, personal journey, sending this group of ragtag, imperfect characters off into the sunset.
I laughed. I cried. But most of all I had FUN. I couldn't believe how invested I was with this batch of characters, having followed them throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) for 10 years now. I cared. In creating this massive, cosmic, two-and-a-half-hour long epic, James Gunn has somehow told the most personal Marvel story to date, one with consequences and stakes, that didn't just revolve around villains trying to destroy the whole of the universe.
If there was ever a classic Disney animated film in need of an update, it's the 1953 "Peter Pan" movie. It's depiction of Native Americans have made it an uncomfortable watch - at best - and so "Peter Pan & Wendy" is one live-action Disney remake that is probably a good thing.
But this Peter Pan's flight plays it mostly safe and unimaginative. Neverland has never been depicted quite as boring, and a few big casting blunders makes "Peter Pan & Wendy" grow old, quickly.
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