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3 1/2 Stars

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Like many a millennial, I grew associating filmmaker Sam Raimi with the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man Trilogy. While known to be a potent force in the arena of cinematic horror, I sadly have only seen one Sam Raimi horror film as of this writing, The Evil Dead (although one could make the argument Spider-Man 3 was actually a horror in other ways).

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3 1/2 Stars

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)

Before we saw The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (one of the best movie titles in recent memory), my friend Peter asked an interesting question.

“Who would win in a fight: Nicholas Cage or Chuck Norris?”

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3 1/2 Stars

Scream (2022)

Being that I saw the original Scream around the ripe age of 11 or so (it was all the hype in fourth grade), it took me some time to understand the “meta” aspect of the film.

Eventually (after seeing Scream 2, the only sequel I would see until now), I would get the references in the original as I would have seen most of the movies the characters have talked about. Thankfully, one does not need to see any of the other sequels to understand the newest Scream film (technically, “Scream 5”).

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3 1/2 Stars

West Side Story (2021)

Note: If you have not seen the original film, I forbid you to read any further until you have seen it. It is on HULU. Get a free trial. Do whatever you have to. I will wait.

Seriously, go see it.

Okay, you are back. Now for the review.

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3 1/2 Stars

House of Gucci (2021)

It is a bit poetic that House of Gucci was released on Thanksgiving Weekend.

Like a big meal, House of Gucci will look appealing to many who may end up being surprised at the taste. It has parts that will be an acquired taste, while others will find it takes some time to digest.

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3 1/2 Stars Movies

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

As the second film of the MCU’s Phase 4, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings also holds the distinction of being the first true origin story film of the MCU since 2019’s Captain Marvel.

Of course, one could argue that Black Widow was also an origin story, but we have seen Natasha since 2010’s Iron Man 2. Shang-Chi is a character we had no interaction with until now. Like a good amount of the films in the series, it showcases a character that only true comic book fans know something about (I can still remember when non fanboys like myself needed the movies to introduce the likes of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos, Black Panther, and even Iron Man.)

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3 1/2 Stars

Cruella (2021)

It wasn’t the hair. It wasn’t the look. It wasn’t even the fact that dogs may get killed.

Around the age of five, what got me scared right off the bat of Cruella De Vil was simply that she seemed to always be yelling. Even when she was not upset (which was rare), she was at a high volume.

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3 1/2 Stars Movies

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

Truth be told, my knowledge of “March Madness” is very low (which would surprise no one who knows me). I truly picked Gonzaga to win without knowing until later that they were undefeated, so it should come as no surprise that I have not really watched any games this year.

Why do I say all this? Because the real march madness I have waited for (even more than the “SnyderCut”) since witnessing the ending credit scene of 2017’s Kong: Skull Island has finally arrived, in the ultimate movie monster matchup of Godzilla vs. Kong. In fact,  I quickly realized that I have awaited this film since my dad showed me the original (and rather badly dubbed) 1960s version, which has had me on #TEAMKONG ever since.

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3 1/2 Stars Movies

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

IMDB may have the director of 2017’s Justice League as Zach Snyder, but that was far from his original film.

The origins of the “Snyder Cut” are now well known: When the film was being finished in early 2017, Snyder had to back out after the tragic suicide of his daughter, Autumn. Joss Whedon (who helmed the first two Avengers films for the MCU) stepped in, and the film was changed drastically. The film’s 4 hour run time was basically cut in half to two, the tone of the film was much lighter, and composer Thomas Holkenborg (better known as Junkie XL) was replaced by Danny Elfman.

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3 1/2 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars Movies

The Small Axe Films (2020)

Since the mid-2010s, “binge watching” has become a thing of human nature.

TV series and mini-series have been gulped up faster than pizza at a teen sleep over, which has happened even more so in the last year with people spending more time at home due to COVID-19. While most binging seems to be associated with TV series (most notably reruns of “The Office”), some series undoubtedly have taken a more cinematic approach (this was what started with “The Sopranos” and one of the main reasons why it was so revolutionary.) While I have more than enough TV/mini series I have yet to catch up on (since I watch too many movies), I have yet to see the line get more blurred between mini-series and movies as I have after watching the five “episodes” of Small Axe.