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Rampage

Rampage: Davis (Dwayne Johnson) is a war veteran who made a career change and became a primatologist. He communicates pretty well by using sign language with a gorilla (George). In outer space, an experiment goes awry, and an explosion results in a mysterious substance falling to earth in three different places. The substance causes genetic mutations resulting in rapid growth and increased violence. George inhaled the substance, as did two other creatures, and soon those extremely HUGE monsters descend upon Chicago. Davis serendipitously meets the person responsible for creating the substance, and together they plan to find a way to …

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Ant-man

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has just been released from prison. He has a daughter who his ex-wife won’t let him see until he straightens up, gets a job, and finds a decent place to live. He is conned into engaging in a heist that seems foolproof and that he hopes will help him change his circumstances. Through a series of events that I won’t reveal, he becomes Ant-man with the ability to shrink in size at will and simultaneously exude enormous strength. While I don’t think it measures up to the best of the Marvel comics films, such as the …

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The fifth movie in the franchise finds the tyrannosaurus dinosaur to be bigger, badder, smarter, and harder to kill than the in the previous sequels. Chris Pratt is back as Owen, a dinosaur trainer. He and his maybe-girlfriend Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) return to the island to try to rescue the dinosaurs that have been roaming the island freely since the demise of the Jurassic World theme park in the previous sequel. A volcano has begun erupting and threatening to send the dinosaurs back into extinction. The rescue of several of the dinosaurs includes bringing some of them back to …

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2001: A Space Odyssey

This film has been re-released in a 70 mm format created from the original negatives. The result is supposed to be a film that looks like it did when it first came out. I don’t remember seeing it when it first came out, but I have to say that I was completely blown away by the beauty and intensity of the film. The basic story begins with a story of the dawn of man when apes first became upright. A mysterious black box appears in the landscape. Cut forward to the future when a spaceship is headed to Jupiter to …

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Ready Player One

Tye Sheridan is Wade Watts, a teenager who lives in a place called the Stacks in Ohio in the year 2045. The majority of people play in Oasis, a virtual reality world that operates a lot like an Xbox or other video game. Whenever life gets you down, you can don the virtual reality glasses and pass the hours as an avatar of your own creation (Wade’s avatar is Parzival). The creator of Oasis (played by Mark Rylance) dies and leaves a challenge for players: Gather 3 keys to unlock the ultimate prize and inherit the wealth of Oasis. What …

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Annihilation

Lena’s (Natalie Portman) husband (played by Oscar Isaac) has been missing for over a year when one day he suddenly turns up at her door and, shortly after that, begins bleeding internally. During the ambulance ride, they are waylaid, and she wakes up to find herself at a strange facility. The lead psychologist Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh) has been trying to investigate a shimmer that has descended upon a lighthouse near New Orleans and is growing larger. Lena decides that she has to join an expedition to understand what is happening inside the shimmer. The movie is fascinating. The …

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Black Panther

I loved this film! Chadwick Boseman plays T’Challa (the Black Panther). At the start of the film, he goes back to his home country of Wakanda to assume the role of King after his father dies. The film chronicles his quest to retain leadership over the country once he encounters an old nemesis. There is no question that the film represents a defining moment in the Marvel Comics (MC) enterprise and (okay, maybe just a bit hyperbolic) even in cinema. While its action scenes are satisfying and the special effects impressive, what elevates Black Panther are its well-developed characters and …

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Knowing the risk of potential death threats and, even worse, threats of unfriending on Facebook, I will tread very carefully – no spoilers. The obvious beginning: The resistance is in perilous condition; its numbers are few compared with the massive forces of the First Order. The Resistance makes a bold strike; meanwhile, Rey heads back to find Luke Skywalker to coax him to join the resistance. That is all. The Last Jedi is a wonderful and very entertaining film, probably my favorit of the enterprise to date. The script contains a lot of humor that is funny and a departure …

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Thor: Ragnarok

In this third installment of the Thor series, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) faces off with a new villain – his sister Hela (played by Kate Blanchett) – in an effort to save Asgard from extinction (Ragnarok). This is a very different kind of Thor from the previous films, which were much more “superhero serious”. This Thor is funny and campy and never takes itself too seriously. For me, that works as a blessing and a curse. I really enjoyed the humor (my son Reyle enjoyed it but did not find it to be particularly funny), but at times it seemed to …

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Blade Runner 2049

Ryan Gosling is Agent K, a newer version of replicants, which are bioengineered humans who are created to be laborers. Agent K is a blade runner, a replicant whose task it is to search out and destroy older models of replicants who have “gone rogue”. When K sought out and killed one of these replicants, he discovered the bones of an infant.  Since replicants were not engineered to become pregnant, K set off on his own to figure out what happened. This film is wonderful on multiple levels. The scenes of Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas in this …

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