Will Smith and Martin Lawrence Return for a Fourth Round in the Franchise and Continue to Deal with the Challenges of Aging in a Young Man's Game.


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Director George Miller Returns to the Wasteland with a Full-Fledged Epic that Balances the Titular Character's Story with the Bombastic Vehicular Mayhem.


This Latest Installment in the Planet of the Apes Franchise isn't Necessarily Bad, but is Probably more of a Forgotten Chapter in the Franchise Mythology.


Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt Kick-Off the Summer Movie Season with a Big, Fun, and Funny Action-Packed Adventure that Fully Delivers on its Promises.



Not all, of course, but the majority of politicians typically turn out to be boring, quite predictable people who - in place of actual personality - feel the need to pervert even the simplest of exchanges or interactions as they often mistake complicated for interesting. Photographers, writers, and other members of the press, the more creatively inclined types, inherently stand to be more individualistic or at least more occupied with ideas than they are self-preservation or importance. To clarify, I'm not discounting the ego numerous members of the media possess, but am more drawing attention to the difference in those who believe they naturally possess a sense of charismatic authority and those who seek it above all else in order to prove to the world they aren't who they know they truly are. And knowing who you truly are is key to knowing where you'll land on Alex Garland's Civil War

Despite writer/director Garland's latest not explicitly making any type of political allegiances where his ideologies occupy are made more than clear in the text. By making his protagonists objective photojournalists who "record so others can ask questions" while making the antagonist a fascist President who has dismantled the FBI it's pretty explicit where Garland tends to fall even as the films allegiances end up not mattering as the writer/director and the movie itself are more interested and fascinated by what brings individuals to their loyalty in their beliefs in the first place; why they believe, not simply that they do. Drawing understanding from under the surface and not just from it gives the frame of mind of these photojournalists a more particular outline rather than being reduced only to the stereotype their label provides. Much of it goes back to Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black when he said, "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals, and you know it." While the context of the title and timing of the release would lead audiences to expect members of two staunch, opposing sides battling things out on the street in a modern fashion intercut with talking heads in suits discussing strategy and morality in board rooms the truth of the matter is, the bullet points for siding with one political party over another go out the window once actual bullets begin flying.


Anger may not quiet the soul and an eye for an eye might eventually make the whole world blind, but corruption must be reckoned with in some fashion and Dev Patel makes it satisfying as hell in his directorial debut, Monkey Man. While the story of revenge is the most common kind of story, especially in the action/thriller genre, Patel elevates the material by making that aforementioned anger more deeply felt and the context hyper-personal as well as lathering the execution in every influence the writer/director/star has clearly made note of since directing became an ambition. 

Patel, the director, has a real penchant for framing his shots around an unexpected primary focal point that communicates plot elements visually while simultaneously building the world - not an easy task when considering you're doing so from the ground up. He does this in a somewhat brash fashion backed by either a heavy soundtrack or Jed Kurzel's Harold Faltermeyer-esque score that culminates in a style desperately trying to carve itself out of those influences. Whether it was my experience as a first time viewer or Patel actually realizing his intention through experimentation, by the end of the film the extreme from-the-hip angles coupled with the extreme close-ups of particularly gritty moments in hand-to-hand combat make for a very ecstatic and unrestrained tone that can't help but to be felt if not necessarily viewed as singular. But also, as a director, if you don’t have women cheer for you when you take off your shirt onscreen what are you even doing?