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4 Stars

Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

The original Top Gun from 1986 is one of those films that can represent multiple forms of nostalgia.

For years, it was a Christmas tradition for my cousins and I when we reunited every Christmas Eve. On another occasion, it was the film of choice at a YMCA camp I attended as a teenager, while and my fellow campers spent a good amount of time yelling “PDA!” (Public Display of Affection) during “Take my Breath Away”. I venture to guess there are more than enough scenarios for others out there (first dates, special birthday parties, etc) with their connection to the original (I read that the actual Top Gun school fines its students for quoting the film). In short, a sequel has indeed been anticipated by many more than one might think.

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4 Stars

Turning Red (2022)

What was particularly curious to me about Turning Red was not the subject matter of the film so much as when the film takes place.

Halfway thru, I finally discovered that the film’s director, Domee Shi (her full length feature debut), was born around the same time as the film’s protagonist. This makes the intimacy of Turning Red only more personal and profound.

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4 Stars

The Batman (2022)

We are coming up on nearly a full eight decades since the caped crusader first appeared on big screens (thanks in part to serials of the 1940s).

Since then, we have had a ton of contributions to the character over the years. From grappling hooks to gravely voices to batarangs to shark repellant to bat nipples, Batman is a character that is as full of depth as any fictional being out there. Adding the grammatical article making the newest installment The Batman just scratches the surface of what the new installment adds to the lore.

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4 Stars

Any Given Sunday (1999)

Unless I had some sort of personal connection associated with a certain game, my interest in football has mostly been minimal at best. That said, Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday has still held a unique place in my heart as a movie of certain first’s.

I remember seeing it in the theater at the ripe age of 12 with my dad, older brother, and grandpa. It was the first movie I would see for many of the actors (most notably Al Pacino), the first Oliver Stone movie, and (most of all), my first R rated movie in the theater. Looking back at the experience, what I remember most (aside from my dad essentially pay money for me to see a grown up movie which included swearing and sexuality) was the mood of down right intensity.

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4 Stars

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Part of me wants to go the coward’s way, and not even review Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Easily the most anticipated movie since Avengers: Endgame, I will do all I can to be sure not to spoil anything for anyone, provided they have at least seen the two trailers for the film (and while this may be too little too late, stay away from the movies IMDB page).

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4 Stars

Encanto (2021)

I am a sucker for many things in the movies, and one most definitely is when a film (animated or otherwise) has to do with a big family.

(Not to get too personal, but I have 6-8 siblings.)

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4 Stars

tick, tick… BOOM! (2021)

After seeing tick, tick,…BOOM!, you may be wanting to ask me a simple question.

I have the answer: No, I had no idea that Andrew Garfield was able to sing.

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4 Stars

King Richard (2021)

A month or so ago, a question was asked on one of the (far too many) groups I am a part of on facebook: What is Will Smith’s best performance (or what was his best movie, I can’t remember which). My answer was simple: We need to wait until King Richard comes out.

In short, it is a good thing I did wait, because this is easily his best performance since The Pursuit of Happyness (2006).

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4 Stars

Spencer (2021)

While I have never seen the Twilight films (nor do I plan to), I am aware of the aftermath of the saga’s two lead actors. I don’t refer to their personal lives, but to how the public responded to their acting talent. Before Twilight, Robert Pattinson was most known as Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter Franchise. Recently, I finally became a fan when I saw his solid work in The Lighthouse and TENET (2020). It will help his career more so now that he is about to be the latest Batman.

As for Kristen Stewart, the first film I remember her in was way back in the film 2005’s Zathura (remember that one?). While she did some great work in films such as the very underrated Adventureland (2009), there was more promise to her acting chops when I observed her in Still Alice (2014). Still, I admit to feeling uneasy when I found out she would be cast as the late Princess Diana in Spencer.

That uneasiness only lasted about ten minutes into the picture.

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4 Stars Movies

Last Night in Soho (2021)

“Unusual movie” was what I heard from a fellow audience member at the end of the credits of Last Night in Soho, the latest film from Edgar Wright.

I responded something to the likes of “True, but that does not make it bad.”