NBA Playoffs: The Comeback

MVPBehaviorI have never felt so good about eating crow. On May 24, I was about 90% sure the Warriors were done. I even wrote about it here. This series was exhausting, emotional, and for me, the most enjoyable playoff series I have witnessed in my life. I am biased because I’m a Warriors fan but accounting for the talent, the stakes, and the high-level of play, I’d feel comfortable putting these seven games up against any other in NBA history. Continue reading

REVIEW: The Nice Guys

HeaderTitle: The Nice Guys | Rated: R | Runtime: 116 min | Theaters nationwide

Take a gander at the Hollywood filmscape, and pick out a genre that’s in need of fresh blood and rejuvenation. Surely there are several to choose from, and the buddy film genre has to be one of them. That’s not to say that there aren’t a few gems on this side of the millennium (the first Rush Hour and 21 Jump Street being examples), but can we say that they can measure up to the likes of Lethal Weapon from the ’80s and Thelma and Louise from the ’90s? Nowadays, it seems like the genre has become flat, as it rehashes tropes and plays for cheap laughs without making its characters memorable. That said, who better than Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3) to once again return to the genre that he revitalized several times? With The Nice Guys, Black confidently has crafted a delightful, snappy feature flick that allows an incredibly charismatic cast to work its magic.

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NBA Playoffs: Thunderstruck

9577095_G73-9. 24-0 to start the season. Unanimous MVP. As a Warriors fan, all that stuff is looking pretty hollow right now. The Thunder have taken a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Warriors and the Dubs are left with the harsh reality of having to beat a team that has dominated this match-up three straight games. Fortunately they’re heading home to Oakland where they’ve lost only three times all season but, truthfully, this series looks over. Continue reading

QUICK TAKE: Green Room

EscapeTitle: Green Room | Rated: R | Runtime: 95 min | Theaters limited (reducing)

Sometimes, at the core of a great movie lies a simple plot. Such a movie, however, requires an assured director who elevates the material with his or her style and vision, making the movie much more than it originally was. Think of Nicolas Winding Refn with Drive, or George Miller with Mad Max: Fury Road. With Green Room, filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier is at the helm, and he makes this a bloody and memorable affair.

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QUICK TAKE: Sing Street

CastTitle: Sing Street | Rated: PG-13 | Runtime: 106 min | Theaters limited (reducing)

Quirk and whimsy can be difficult to master. They can undermine dramatic material or overwhelm it. By themselves, they can become annoying or even aggravating. Thus, they require a smart head who knows how to wield them. Sing Street has that in filmmaker John Carney, and in his hands, the film proves to be absolutely irresistible.

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REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War

AP FILM REVIEW CAPTAIN AMERICA CIVIL WAR A ENTTitle: Captain America: Civil War | Rated: PG-13 | Runtime: 147 min | Theaters nationwide

Captain America: Civil War has so much ground to cover since it’s so many things. It’s a follow-up to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the best film in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) at the time, and I’m certain that fans expect it to be as amazing as its predecessor. Though it doesn’t reflect in the title, it’s also an Avengers movie since so many major superheroes – both returning and new – play an active role here. Then there’s the fact that it’s an adaptation of the Civil War storyline, which is perhaps the most well-known one from Marvel in the past decade. Therein lies an incredible amount of material to tackle, but the film confidently steps up to the task and triumphs spectacularly because every action it takes revolves around what makes superhero movies memorable and special: the characters.

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