REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War

Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Chris Luckett

When The Avengers came out in 2012, it seemed like the ultimate climax of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, it was simply the climax to the first act of what would ultimately be three (or four) phases, each with their own Avengers capper.

The worry that came with that, particularly after the behemoth scale of The Avengers, was… How could Marvel hope to top (or even just equal) a supergroup movie with more standalone pictures hinged on individual superheroes, without just creating the impression of the franchise just spinning its wheels?

Marvel being the Pixar it currently is, they pulled it off. Not only that, but despite the fact The Avengers: Age of Ultron proved to be even better than The Avengers, it was outdone by Captain America: The Winter Soldier — the best movie Marvel had yet made, despite it being a sequel to the worst they’d made.

And that was before a superhero war broke out. Continue reading

REVIEW: The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Chris Luckett

Cinema has a long, storied history of computers running amok. From 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner to the Terminator and Matrix series, intelligent machines have become the new evolution of Frankenstein’s Monster.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron appears on the surface to be yet another superhero juggernaut, but what separates it from its Marvel brethren — and what elevates it above most of them — is that the villain isn’t a malevolent alien or a possessed scientist, but an artificially intelligent monster of our heroes’ own creation. Even Earth’s mightiest heroes aren’t invulnerable to hubris.

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REVIEW: Transcendence

Photo: Warner Bros.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Chris Luckett

Movies about self-aware computers or technology with superior intelligence are nothing new. From 2001: A Space Odyssey to Tron to Terminator 2: Judgment Day to The Matrix to Her, the concept has been thoroughly explored, and already to brilliant results. Transcendence doesn’t rise to the ranks of those movies, although it’s clever enough to at least see its ridiculous premise through to a (relatively) realistic and well-earned conclusion.

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