Category: Reviews

The Amazing Spider-Man

Overview: The Amazing Spider-Man is a decent reboot that took itself (and its title) too seriously. Columbia Pictures; 2012; Rated PG-13; 136 Minutes. The Average Spider-Man: Retreading an origin story seems unnecessary for such a popular character. Is there anybody who doesn’t know how Peter Parker became Spider-Man? The problem isn’t that the plot beats are similar. The second manifestation just adds nothing new to the story. Pivotal moments in Spider-Man’s origin feel more like a checklist of events rather than fleshed out character moments. There’s also an attempt to introduce a dark and gritty feel to the Spider-Man universe.  But...

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Mulan

Overview: During an impending Hun invasion in China, a young maiden secretly takes her father’s place in the army. 1998; Buena Vista Pictures; G; 87 minutes Disney’s Heroine: Mulan breaks away from the Disney norm by showcasing a strong female character doing most of the heavy lifting, setting her apart from most Disney princesses. She really isn’t interested in finding true love or chasing her dreams. Heck, the only reason she attends a matchmaker at the start of the movie is to make her family happy by bringing them honor. She’s a compelling and complicated character because of her inner conflicts of honor and identity. Disney breaks down the gender barrier here. Mulan, spurred by love and compassion for others, actually goes out to make a difference, and it’s her intelligence and strength that saves the day. She’s more defined by the things she accomplishes than her desires, and that makes her one of the best characters Disney has ever produced. Family Tradition: Several recognizable Disney staples are seamlessly woven into the film, such as the use of an animal sidekick. In Mulan, Eddie Murphy is a stand out as Mushu. He provides entertaining comic relief, but his character has a surprising story arc of his own that runs parallel to Mulan’s. Disney put extra care in handling supporting characters whom viewers would normally dismiss as stereotypes. They do...

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Minority Report

Overview: Based on the Philip K. Dick short story of the same name, Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report follows “Precrime” cop John Anderton (Tom Cruise) as he navigates his way through a dense mystery to try and prove his innocence of a crime he did not commit. 2002; 20th Century Fox; PG-13; 145 minutes. “You dig up the past, all you get is dirty.”: When we first see Tom Cruise’s character, a cocksure and talented DC cop, he’s running around solving cases with a skill and precision that only comes standard to the main character of an action film. Later...

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Once Upon a Time in America

Overview: After years of solitude, an ex-gangster reflects on his long and tumultuous career when he returns to his old stomping grounds in Manhattan. 1984; Warner Bros. Pictures; Rated R; 229 minutes. Time Is An Ocean: Once Upon A Time In America is predominantly told through flashbacks. The past we are witnessing is the past as remembered by Robert De Niro’s character, David “Noodles” Aaronson. Filtered through tears and cataract-stricken eyes, it is displayed in a fragmented manner, cutting back and forth and not always showing the whole story until the end. The film weaves in and out of...

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