December 10, 2018

Deadpool fans were treated to a new poster last week, right in advance of the PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2, called Once Upon a Deadpool. It features a heavenly array of angels and puppies and bubbles and Fred Savage, plus Deadpool himself dressed in robes, looking a little like Jesus. The tagline: “Yule Believe in Miracles.” Maybe the movie’s biggest miracle is that we have a full-length movie at all: I would’ve thought that, after its makers cut out all… Read more

December 7, 2018

“Now is not the end,” Winston Churchill said in Nov. 1942. “It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Is Avengers End Game won’t be the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, of course. But it does mark an end of something, and likely the end of a few of our favorite superheroes to make way for others. And the beginning of the end–or the end of the beginning–officially started… Read more

December 1, 2018

  George H.W. Bush first spoke of “a thousand points of light” in New Orleans, as he was accepting the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention. He first used it as a reference to America’s volunteer organizations, then wrapped up his speech by saying that he would “keep America moving forward, always forward—for a better America, for an endless enduring dream and a thousand points of light.” Bush was never known as an electric speaker like Mario Cuomo or… Read more

November 28, 2018

I review movies for a living, and I’ve seen plenty of horror flicks this year. From A Quiet Place to The Nun to the newest Halloween, I’ve been subjected to my share of jump scares and creeping chills. But National Geographic’s Free Solo is the most terrifying movie of the year. No homicidal maniac haunts this film, no hungry alien lurks in its corners. The terror is right in front of you—El Capitan, a 3,200 feet of granite cliff shooting… Read more

November 26, 2018

The third season of Netflix’s Daredevil begins with a black baptism. Its first few seconds give us a broiling mass of fire and water, the aftermath of last year’s Defenders finale. In that finale Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil, helped once again to save New York (with a little help from his friends), but everyone thought he died in the process. He and villain/hero/girlfriend Electra were buried underneath a mountain of rubble, and surely both were dead and gone. Not so… Read more

November 23, 2018

No one likes it when carolers attack. That’s especially true if you’re the Grinch, who hated Christmas. Still, when you live near the Christmas-crazy town of Whoville, it’s hard to get away from it completely. And in the new Universal movie named after him (based, of course, on the Dr. Seuss book and the timeless television special), Mr. Grinch braves the Christmas-besotted enclave to pick up some provisions for his mountaintop retreat. Our green anti-protagonist is immediately assaulted by Christmas… Read more

November 21, 2018

Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) wins the heavyweight title belt early on in Creed II, which opens today in theaters across the country. But for much of the movie, the guy doesn’t feel like much of a champion. He feels beaten, humiliated and scared. And a fight against Viktor Drago—a mountain of a man (and the son of Ivan Drago, the boxer who killed Adonis’ father) looms. Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), Adonis’ trainer, knows the fight will be the biggest… Read more

November 16, 2018

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens, appropriately enough, with a gathering storm. Silver-tongued villain Gellert Grindelwald, tossed in prison in the last Fantastic Beasts film, makes a spectacular break for freedom in the movie’s first moments, conjuring a storm to aid his escape. Setting up a home base in early 20th-century Paris and driven by the idea of a magic-dominated world in which non-magical muggles are (in Grindelwald’s own words) simply “beasts of burden,” the wizard rallies his supporters… Read more

November 12, 2018

Comic-book legend Stan Lee died today at the age of 95.  While most of us are probably most familiar with him from his delightful cameos in the Marvel movies, he was way more than a funny face. Lee didn’t single-handedly build Marvel into the multimedia behemoth it is today. But he, with the help of some talented collaborators, was its prime architect. Lee and Jack Kirby created the X-Men, Fantastic Four and a good chunk of who make up the… Read more

October 30, 2018

We live in some crazy times. In the United States, we may be as divided as I can ever remember, and no division seems perhaps as stringent as the divide today between science and faith. But it wasn’t always so. “There was a time in the mid-1800s, the great revival movement and so on, when there was no difference between being religious and being scientific,” says documentary director David Conover. “They were very much drawing on the same thing. …… Read more

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