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16th November
2018
written by Adam

The second installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” series set in the Wizarding World of J.K. Rowling’s imagination, magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is tasked by his former teacher, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), to put an end to the uprising of the tremendously dark and severely misguided wizard, Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). Aided by friends Queenie, Tina, Jacob, and Leta (Alison Sudol, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, and ZoĆ« Kravitz), conquering this insurmountable task will take a brutal toll on all involved, and still, what’s the fascination surrounding the mysterious Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller)?Directed by David Yates and written by J.K. Rowling, this slowly plodding setup and exposition rich screenplay appears to suffer from the all too common pitfall of middle story-itus. While not serving as the world establishing opener or apex crushing closer, attempts to create richer context come across largely as a yawn material, leaving the serious wizarding to the final act; furthermore, pivotal dramatic moments consistently lack the emotional hook or pull to add the appropriate gravity to the situation. In short, wands are swung, people die, creatures roar and fly, and at the end of it all, none of it really feels like it mattered, except of course for the last big reveal, of which I’ll spare you the details. So, with hopes of a greater bridge film lost, perhaps we’ll finish strong? Here’s to more hocus-pocus with better focus next time? Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is rated PG-13.

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9th November
2018
written by Adam

Hours before the D-Day strike on Normandy a fragmented platoon of American soldiers are tasked with the mission of destroying a radio jamming tower atop a church in a tiny French village. It’s up to Boyce, Ford, Tibbet, Chase, Dawson, and Roesnfeld (Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, John Magaro, Iain De Casestecker, Jacob Anderson, and Dominic Applewhite) to tackle the job at all costs. But, what about the strange happenings in the Nazi occupied church itself? Perhaps local resident Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier), can shed light on the matter? Directed by Julius Avery and Written by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith, this supernatural World War II spectacular contains a strange mix of Inglorious/Indiana/Private Ryan DNA spliced with its own soul to create a horrifically wonderful dark adventure that rings solid, even if we know the final destination well before our arrival at port. Ensemble wise, kudos to all round, not a sour note in the bunch. Jed Kurzel’s perfectly haunting score sets up several addictive themes and movements to drive the action dagger deeper. Meanwhile, cinematography by both Laurie Rose and Fabian Wagner work in concert to bring this picture to its successful and frighteningly fun potential. Overlord is rated R for the win this weekend.

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9th November
2018
written by Adam

Computer hacker, righter of wrongs, protector of the weak and abused, Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy), the girl with the dragon tattoo finds herself in deep with journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason). As the two delve into the world of spies and world domination the battle will be more personal than ever, and just what exactly is the significance of the girl in the spider’s web, Camilla (Sylvia Hoeks)?Directed by Fede Alvarez and Written by Jay Basu and Alvarez, this left turn for the franchise that seemed to show promise offers a lot to appreciate as far as thrillers go, but, lacks the same vision, aesthetic, and inspiration as it’s predecessors, both Swedish and American. That’s not to say Claire Foy isn’t trying her damnedest to keep things sharp, but, the cards are clearly stacked against her with a script that lacks a fresh take on the biker badass straight out of the 90’s goth clubs of yesteryear. And, with bonus product placement throughout, one message to Sony Pictures, subtle gang, real subtle. This otherwise easily forgettable franchise somehow now finds itself on the shelf next to Resident Evil 1-7 and Underworld 1-6. So it goes. The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story is rated R.

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