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Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Post’ will make you want to stand up and cheer

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If you look closely, you’ll notice that The Post is a Mr. Show reunion.

Image: NIko Tavernise

It’s no accident that Steven Spielberg’s The Post feels timely. The whole thing came together in about eight months, making it one of the first studio pictures to directly respond to the Trump presidency.

With such a rushed schedule, you might expect The Post to suffer in quality. But that’s not the case at all, at least according to the reviews, which range from mildly positive to raving. Here’s what the critics are saying about The Post:

It’s more thrilling than you’d expect

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter:

An unofficial prequel to All the President’s Men 41 years after the fact, The Post stirringly dramatizes the tale of how The Washington Post and its equivocating owner rose to the occasion by publishing the Pentagon Papers in June of 1971. Punchy and quick-pulsed, it’s a fine example of that now-rare species, the big-city newspaper melodrama.

Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice:

Spielberg connects with the derring-do at the story’s heart. Beyond being one of our greatest filmmakers, he’s also one of our most self-aware, and understands that he’s crossing the streams a little: He shoots this political drama like a long-lost Indiana Jones movie.

It’s maybe a little heavy-handed – but it works

Kevin Fallon, The Daily Beast:

The script is chockful of the kinds of platitudes that would ordinarily arm critics with enough artillery to eviscerate a movie for being corny, heavy-handed, or unforgivably maudlin. But with towering, bonafide movie star performances by Streep and Hanks—respectively the best they’ve been in years—and an assured, almost dutiful directorial energy from Spielberg, The Post becomes less a movie than a mission.

Robbie Collin, The Telegraph:

Spielberg pushes these moments right to the brink of corniness, but you wouldn’t want it any other way, particularly as the ink-stained romance of the newspaper business plays up to his sentimental streak. There is a glorious sequence in which one of the key reporters, played with hangdog nobility by Bob Odenkirk, is tapping at his typewriter late at night when the printing presses rumble into action down below. He feels the building shudder and allows himself a satisfied smile: his words have literally caused the earth to shake. 

It’s probably gonna win an Oscar

Kristy Puchko, Pajiba:

You’ll watch The Post and think of movies like All The President’s Men, The Paper and Network. And then maybe you’ll realize those movies are all decades old. And that maybe why you’re thinking of them is because this movie feels like it could be decades old. It’s a good, reliable drama. It’s also safe, predictable Oscar bait with nothing new to say.

Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair:

Spielberg’s film is rousing and cannily made. It’s a straight-down-the-middle Hollywood liberal picture that might drop a big studio bomb on the year’s smaller Oscar hopefuls. The Post just hits so many of the right buttons, so effectively, that it seems like something made in a lab to win big showbiz awards handed out by happily comforted and inspired Democrats.

The Post is in theaters December 22.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/12/06/the-post-movie-review-roundup/

New Movie Reviews

‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is one of the best superhero movies ever: Review

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There’s a new Spider-Man in town, and he’s freaking amazing.

Image: Columbia / Sony

“To say that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse feels like a comic book come to life may sound like faint praise, seeing as we’re two decades into a superhero movie boom that the original Spider-Man helped jump start.

But few recent films have embraced the comic book style and sensibility — its visual quirks and anything-goes openness — as wholeheartedly as Spider-Verse has, or enjoyed as fully the potential in combining the two mediums.

Right off the bat, Spider-Verse acknowledges that it’s probably the 700th Spider-Man story you’ve seen in the past few years. A voiceover “yada yadas” the basics of Peter Parker’s origin story, while winking at almost every iteration of it; even the much-maligned Spider-Man 3 gets a rueful shoutout. This movie isn’t afraid of a laugh at its own expense, though the knowing humor is more affectionate than biting.

Spider-Verse has a distinct feel unlike any other Spider-Man movie before.

When that montage ends with Peter telling us “there’s only one Spider-Man,” it plays like another joke, because we’ve seen so many Peters over so many years. And becomes even more of one once we meet Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore).

Though Miles has been a fan favorite in the comics since 2011, Spider-Verse marks his first time on the big screen. Accordingly, Spider-Verse has a distinct feel unlike any other Spider-Man movie before it.

Spider-Verse eschews both the slick three-dimensional look of most modern studio animated movies (think Pixar or Illumination) and the gritty “realism” of most live-action superhero movies, in favor of a flatter, sketchier aesthetic bursting with poppy colors, Ben-Day dots, and motion lines. It’s an obvious nod to Spidey’s ink-and-paper history, but it’s also an expression of how Miles, himself a character who’s grown up admiring Spidey and reading Spidey books, might view his own superhero saga…………………………………………”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/spider-man-into-the-spider-verse-movie-review/

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Creed II review – Rocky saga continues with knockout sequel

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“Before he delivered arguably Marvel’s most dazzling chapter to date, Ryan Coogler had managed something close to impossible in Hollywood: he had found a fresh way to reboot a dusty franchise. In a landscape of endless thirst and vacant remixing, he had somehow managed to concoct a nifty, imaginative way back into the Rocky saga with Creed, a film that felt old-fashioned yet fresh, intimate yet grand, a rousing return from the grave.

By focusing on the son of Rocky’s competitor-turned-friend Apollo Creed, Coogler was also able to reteam with Michael B Jordan, who made such an indelible impression in his first film, 2013’s devastating fact-based drama Fruitvale Station. The duo worked together again in Black Panther earlier this year, with Jordan switching tacks to play villain Killmonger, and so soon after, seeing him return as Creed is a further reminder of his broad star appeal, the sort of rare leading man one can imagine remaining at the top of his game for years to come. Given his time in Wakanda, Coogler was unable to return but he has handed over directorial duties to Steven Caple Jr, who impressed in 2016 with debut feature The Land, and it is a similarly deft rise from micro-budget indie to franchise film-making.

While it’s not quite the showstopper that its predecessor was, Creed II is still another knockout piece of entertainment. There’s a keen awareness of what made Creed work so well without it feeling like a lethargic rehash. This time, Adonis (Jordan) is the heavyweight champion of the world, in a loving relationship with his pregnant musician girlfriend Bianca (Tessa Thompson) and still living near and working out with a recovering Rocky (Sylvester Stallone). But there’s discontent from……………………………………..”

Read More Here: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/nov/16/creed-ii-review-rocky-sylvester-stallone-michael-b-jordan

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They Shall Not Grow Old review – a breathtaking journey into the trenches

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Written by Mark Kermode, Observer film critic

“There’s a familiar mantra that computers have somehow taken the humanity out of cinema. In an age when it’s possible to conjure spectacular action from digital effects, many modern movies have developed a sense of weightlessness – the inconsequentiality of artifice. Along with Avatar director James Cameron, New Zealand film-maker Peter Jackson has been at the forefront of the digital revolution, with his twin Tolkien trilogies (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) pushing the boundaries of computer-generated entertainment.

Yet with his latest project, a revivification of the Imperial War Museum’s archive of first world war footage, Jackson has done something quite remarkable: using 21st-century technology to put the humanity back into old movie stock. The result is utterly breathtaking.

Commissioned for the Armistice centenary by IWM and 14-18 NOW in association with the BBC, They Shall Not Grow Old is not a document of the world at war. Rather, it is an arresting snapshot of the lives of British soldiers who went to fight in Europe, many of them having lied about their tender ages to enlist. There are no historians, narrators or political commentators to guide us; the voices we hear are those of veterans, many gathered by the BBC during the making of its 1964 documentary series The Great War.

As we watch a line of soldiers marching through mud towards the front, something extraordinary happens. The film seems almost miraculously to change from silent black-and-white footage to colour film with sound, as though 100 years of film history had been suddenly telescoped into a single moment. Stepping through the looking glass, we find ourselves right there in the trenches, surrounded by young men whose faces are as close and clear as those of people we would pass in the street. I’ve often argued that cinema is a time machine, but rarely has that seemed so true………………………………………………”

Read the rest of the article here: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/nov/11/they-shall-not-grow-old-peter-jackson-review-first-world-war-footage

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