Review: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

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By Mark Saldana

Rating: 2 (Out of 4 Stars)

The summer movie season has arrived, and a couple of the movie franchise sequels have already hit theaters.  With the arrival of sequels comes the traditional and highly unnecessary beating of dead horses.  What I am metaphorically referring to are the new installments of movie sagas that should not have been made, but do because they make the studios money.  When the previous Pirates of the Caribbean movie (On Stranger Tides) hit theaters , I had already pretty much lost interest in this franchise, as had other film critics who mostly gave the film unfavorable ratings.  After a highly enjoyable first film and two moderately likable, but excessive, indulgent and flawed sequels, I had hoped this franchise would sail off into the sunset.  Well, Disney producers are hoping to continue milking this cash cow which continues to diminish in quality.  Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a mostly dead-in-the water, shameless rehash of previous Pirates adventures that does nothing at all to advance the quality of this series, and looks as though the filmmakers behind this new installment didn’t even care to do so. Read more »

Movie Trailer: WONDER

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Source: Lionsgate

Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman. Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. As his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all struggle to find their compassion and acceptance, Auggie’s extraordinary journey will unite them all and prove you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out. Read more »

Movie Trailer: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

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Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment

A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming.  Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened. Read more »

Movie Trailer: VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

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Source: STX Entertainment

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS is the visually spectacular new adventure film from Luc Besson, the legendary director of The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy, based on the ground-breaking comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers and filmmakers.

In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha-an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other.  There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe. Read more »

Review: ALIEN: COVENANT (SXSW 2017)

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By Laurie Coker
Rating: D

I often wonder about the “critics” opinions versus my opinion. I am after all a professional film critic myself, but when I look at critic ratings of films and I find that often I sit on the polar opposite side of popular opinion. I can’t help but think – “whaaaaaaaaaaat?” Alien: Covenant, a film that had a ten minute sneak peak at SXSW 2017, bored me to death. I found the story idiotic and the telling of it listless and lazy. Read more »