Love and Boh in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

Midtown High has been “blipped” back following the events of Avengers: Endgame, where half of all life was erased from existence while the other half dealt with their absence for 5 SOUL-CRUSHING YEARS. Everyone wonders what’s next in the wake of a massive existential threat, and all Peter can think about after the ordeal is MJ. In lesser hands, this would come off as selfish and self-centered. Thanks to Tom Holland and Zendaya’s winning chemistry, and a supporting cast that follows their bumbling lead, Peter and MJ’s tale of high school love is irresistibly charming. I may have hated high school, but I’m in love with the way Peter and MJ are in love with each other. Continue reading

The Brutal Thrill of John Wick

The teahouse shootout in Hard Boiled ruined me. Good guys, bad guys, guns, an unholy number of bullets, doves— and you don’t get any cooler than Chow Yun-fat duel-wielding handguns while sliding down the stairs. The shootout erupts in a teahouse of all places, the serenity of sipping tea interrupted by all-out violence where bad guys mow down innocent civilians, giving the good guys a free hunting license to unload carnage. The sheer overkill of Hard Boiled’s opening scene is something seldom achieved these days, which is what makes the increasingly over-the-top set pieces of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum such a welcome sight to see. Continue reading

Dave Chappelle’s ‘Sticks & Stones’ Won’t Break Bones, Or Any New Ground Either

Few comedians are as enduring or headline-worthy as Dave Chappelle. Many can nab themselves TV or movie deals thus prolonging their shelf-life i.e. Kevin Hart, Kumail Nanjiani, Michelle Wolf, Bo Burnham. But the return to the mic isn’t always seamless i.e. Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Daniel Tosh (and, depending on who you ask, Ricky Gervais). Dave Chappelle is the rare comedian who came back with a renewed comic lens and a welcome socio-political incisiveness that made his return such a sigh of relief. But if his last two standups Age of Spin and Equanimity suggested a pseudo-renaissance, then Sticks & Stones is an unfortunate stumbling block that otherwise slows the breakneck pace of his resurgence. Continue reading

Comic-Con 2019: Highlights from the Marvel Studios Panel

I keep thinking Marvel Studios has outdone themselves and, as always, it seems like they’re only just getting started.

Kevin Feige and crew dropped so many bombshells yesterday that I’m still dumbstruck. I can only process such things by way of lists and rankings. I’m aware hype levels are subjective, but this is the only way I can vent my excitement at the moment so bear with me. (Literally shaking as I type this.) Here are my top five favorite Marvel Studios announcements from Comic-Con 2019: Continue reading

Favorite Summer Movies

There used to be a time when I craved the summer movie. The fun, the sun, the pure escapism. I hate to say it, but I’ve grown increasingly underwhelmed by the recent summer movie crop. I’m wondering if this is a consequence of a superhero landscape that turns months like February, March, even November into prime blockbuster slates, or if this is indicative of a booming streaming culture where most of us are apt to skip the theater altogether. It might even be a case of  poorly chosen IPs recycled to cash-in on existing fanbases.

To renew my faith, I’d like to reflect on a cherished theater-going staple by cobbling together a list of my absolute favorite summer movies, ones I had the privilege of seeing while the going was spectacular. Whether summer movie season is at an end or suffering through a morally bankrupt slump, I’d like to key in on the films that made the whole craze worthwhile. Continue reading