Author: Diego Crespo

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is as Sincere as it is Witty

Overview: Best friends George and Harold accidentally brainwash their grumpy school principal into believing he is one of their own creations come to life. 20th Century Fox; 2017; Rated PG; 89 minutes. Tra-la-la!: Based off a series of books of the same title, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is just as clever as it is funny. It doesn’t contain the meme-worthy escapades of The Boss Baby but how Captain Underpants functions as a whole is far more impressive than its title would have you assume. If The Boss Baby was a modern Hannah Barbara cartoon with plastique sheen,...

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Ranking the Fast & Furious Franchise

The Fast and the Furious franchise is ever-evolving. No movie is comparable to the series’ basic structure or to its excellently choreographed action. They’re loud and a little dumb, but they stay true to themselves with heart and bombastic action. To celebrate the ongoing saga that continues to pave the way for world peace, here is a ranking of the explosively lovable Fast family adventures. 8. The Fate of the Furious BETRAYAL. It’s the foremost feeling of The Fate of the Furious. While the set pieces are all radically fun in their own vacuums, they don’t feel related to the progression of familial...

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Power Rangers Is Sloppy But Sincere Entertainment

Overview: A group of wayward teens comes together to become the mighty morphing Power Rangers. 2017; PG-13; Lionsgate; 124 minutes. Full Disclosure: I missed the boat on Power Rangers when I was growing up. I was the right age to become enthralled by its goofy wonders. References made their way into my personal pop culture zeitgeist perspective enough for me to recognize the resurgence of Ivan Ooze during another blockbuster’s promotional run, but I never dove in headfirst.  In some ways, Power Rangers always seemed to me to be the perfect property to reboot. From my understanding, the series was...

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Technical Proficiency & Emotional Agency In John Wick

I reviewed John Wick back when it was released in 2014 and gave it a positive review. Several years on, my love has only grown for the genre-specific action flick. I’d go as far as calling John Wick a near perfect movie. Among the many elements executed as precisely and efficiently as John Wick executes headshots, John Wick is peppered with world building better implemented than most major franchises. It’s added flavor, both unique and essential to the stylings of this underworld of assassins. Visually while not only appealing with uses of color and production design, the world of Wick...

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Evolving Evils & Identities In Resident Evil

Back in 2002, post-Matrix black leather and slo-mo aesthetics were the defining traits of the next wannabe blockbusters. One of these, Resident Evil was a relatively tame video game adaptation, borrowing ideas more so than plot (something that has never been a strong suit for the series in any iteration): A group of soldiers enter a facility run by the Umbrella corporation called The Hive. It’s a simple premise that grows in scale with each entry, propelling itself through ever-evolving scenarios. Marco Beltrami and Marilyn Manson’s score influences the techno-horror vibe writer Paul W.S. Anderson is going for. Resident Evil...

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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Is Exactly What You’d Expect

Overview: Alice must race back to The Hive to stop Umbrella and The Red Queen once and for all. Screen Gems; 2017; Rated R; 106 minutes. Evil Comes Home: If you’re into the Resident Evil film series, at this point nothing should stop you from watching Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. If you’re not into the Resident Evil film series, you have no reason to watch Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. There’s no game-changing stylization or experimental approach like was found in the relentlessly weird and borderline vignette storytelling of Resident Evil: Retribution (please watch the incredible opening sequence of Retribution immediately). Director Paul W....

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Smokin’ Aces: 10 Years of Dead Reckoning, Sleazy Action, and Messy Clarity

To call Smokin’ Aces sleazy is an understatement. It’s a shotgun blast of nihilism with the bullets made out of compact flesh from a rusty meat-grinder. Once the trigger is pulled, the shrapnel propels itself into a block of cheese that will not be satisfactory to everyone’s tastes. But Joe Carnahan isn’t interested in taste here. The focus is on watching a menagerie of degenerates and people in way over their heads get lost in the shuffle of what we can refer to as a “gaggle-fuck” of bad decisions and worse combatants. It also stars an assortment of fantastic...

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Monster Trucks is Harmless Children’s Entertainment

Overview: A subterranean creature befriends a high school senior and gives his truck the upgrade of a lifetime. Paramount Pictures; 2017; Rated PG; 104 minutes. For Kids: When it comes to children entertainment, the “it’s for kids” claim shouldn’t be an excuse for poor filmmaking qualities. That’s not to say movies with inherently silly sensibilities should also be tossed aside for not being serious enough (good luck convincing me Gremlins 2 is anything short of a masterpiece). Monster Trucks falls somewhere in the upper echelons of January entertainment. Mind you, that grading scale is on a major curve here, but...

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Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is A Competent Disappointment

Overview: Jack Reacher is back, in spite of his paradoxical sequel title, wrapped in further espionage and a sever lack of Werner Herzog. Paramount Pictures; 2016; Rated PG-13; 118 minutes. Never Go Back (Again): In the pantheon of Tom Cruise action films, the first Jack Reacher flies surprisingly under the radar. It’s brisk, efficiently cut action with an abruptly entertaining Jai Courtney performance pre-Suicide Squad. The best part is when Werner Herzog pops up as a villain who forces someone to chew his own fingers off. It’s a riveting villain for Cruise to go up against. While not quite...

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