Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

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Avengers: Infinity War is the 19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the point that all storylines have been leading to. Infinity War nailed the tone, perfectly utilized its characters, Alan Silvestri executed its score incredibly and the film gave me goosebumps many times. I don’t want to say anything else but to tell you to (if you haven’t already) watch all 18 previous MCU films then go to the best theater you can and experience the culmination of them all. This movie really beat my expectations and I loved it.

Infinity War is a little bit more mature than other MCU movies but if your kids have seen the others they can see this one.

Currently in Theaters.

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Ready Player One (2018)

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Ready Player One is a Steven Spielberg film about a digital world, like a super-futuristic MMO with VR, called the OASIS. It is based on the book of the same name by Ernest Cline which I have not read so this review is from that perspective. Ready Player One is very heavy on the CGI  I thought would take away from the experience but I was pleasantly surprised by how little it bothered me. The 1st and 3rd acts are quite entertaining, although the 2nd felt kind of lifeless. Even so, the message behind this film is a good one and trying to spot as many pop culture references as you can makes Ready Player One, if not that much more, a great popcorn flick.

Kids about 11 and up shouldn’t have a problem watching Ready Player One.

Currently in Theaters.

 

The Commuter (2018)

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The Commuter is an action/crime/thriller about an insurance salesman who gets caught up in a criminal conspiracy on his commute home from work. This movie was a pleasant surprise for me, I wasn’t expecting much from it but it has a good plot, unique editing and cinematography, a surprising good score, and Liam Neeson does a great job as always. I think the aforementioned editing and cinematography do a great job of immersing you in The Commuter’s setting and makes you sympathize with Liam Neeson’s character. Overall, if you can look past a handful of unbelievable plot elements I think you might really enjoy The Commuter.

There isn’t too much violence in The Commuter although there is certainly some in there, I don’t think kids 10 and up should have any problem watching this film.

Currently in Theaters.

Watchmen (2009) [Director’s Cut]

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Watchmen is Zack Snyder’s film adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name which takes place in an alternate 1985 and is about former superheroes coming out of retirement after an old colleague is murdered. As far as book-to-film adaptations go this is a job pretty well done, its very faithful to the source material and cuts out and changes only minor things and only when necessary, until, that is, 30 minutes before the end of the movie when a major plot point is severely altered which I believe took a great deal of emotional weight out of the story. The casting choices for all the characters (especially Jackie Earle Haley who is perfect casting for Rorschach) are great, except for Matthew Goode as Adrian Veidt which I think was the wrong decision for the character. There is plenty to like about this film though, the cinematography, tone, action scenes, and music choices (nearly all of them are directly from the novel) are all great. Even though Watchmen is not as emotional or deep as the graphic novel, it is a great action epic that is worth watching.

There is a lot of violence and sex in this film so I definitely wouldn’t suggest younger than a mature 14 to watch this.

Available on iTunes and Amazon.

Book Review: Watchmen (1986-1987)

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Watchmen is an ingenious science-fiction graphic novel/limited series that takes place in an alternate history where superheroes emerged in American society during the 40s and 60s and vigilantism is now outlawed, the story follows two generations of superheroes from the close of World War II to the Cold War. It is truly an extraordinary masterpiece of visual and literary storytelling, it uses synchronicity, symbolism, and repeated imagery brilliantly and virtually every detail in every captivating panel means something. The highly fleshed out mythology and characters are extremely intriguing. Watchmen has inspired and continues to inspire many other works of art and I believe it is the best book I have ever read so I very highly recommend it to everyone that has not read it at least once before.

Watchmen deals with many mature subject matters and is very complex, 14 is the youngest I would recommend this too.

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

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Kong: Skull Island is the second film in Legendary Entertainment’s MonsterVerse (after 2014’s Godzilla) and it is a very bad sign for the future of this cinematic universe. This movie is pretty easily the worst I have seen this year, the editing is atrocious, the characters are terribly uninteresting, the camera is aimed at Tom Hiddleston’s tight shirt for a ridiculous amount of the runtime, the attempts to be like a 70’s Vietnam movie got on my nerves pretty quickly, Kong himself looks cartoonish, and most of the scenes look like they were shot on a totally green set even when they weren’t. The first 30 to 50 minutes are moderately enjoyable as a popcorn flick but as soon as Tom Hiddleston grabs a katana out of midair, puts on a gas mask, runs through poison gas slicing monster-birds out of the air, and then proceeds to remove said gas mask while standing in poison gas without any consequences, Kong: Skull Island falls deep into an abyss of shockingly bad filmmaking. If you’re looking for a so-bad-it’s-good film to laugh at, this might be the one to watch, but if you were looking for a promising future for the MonsterVerse, than prepare for a huge disappointment. The fact that this is currently higher on Rotten Tomatoes than Godzilla, an exceptional film, baffles me to no end.

There is a lot of violence in Kong: Skull Island but I think kids 11 or 12 and up can probably handle it.

Available on iTunes and Amazon.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

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Spider-Man Homecoming is about Peter Parker’s life after his brush with The Avengers in Captain America Civil War. This film is way better than the marketing had convinced me it would be, the comedy, action, and tension are all handled excellently. The characters are great, Tom Holland does a marvelous job as Peter Parker, Micheal Keaton plays the best MCU villain in quite a while, and Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark does not overstay his welcome in the plot as I feared he would. A particular scene in Homecoming caught me off guard more than any film has since I saw Fight Club and created brilliantly crafted tension over the next 10-20 minutes. If you still can, I would definitely recommend seeing the highly refreshing and charming Spider-Man: Homecoming in theaters.

Kids 10 and up shouldn’t have a problem with this film.

Available on iTunes and Amazon.