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X-Men: Days of Future Past

When Bryan Singer kicked off the X-Men franchise in 2000, comic book movies hadn’t yet taken over Hollywood. Yet Singer paved the way for a powerful future for superheroes, although his inability to cap the original X-Men trilogy doomed the mutants to a grimmer future for a time. Ironically enough, Singer is now back in charge for the start of a third X-Men trilogy, and adapting one of the comic’s most iconic stories at that – so the Days of Future Past somehow even out after all.

In the year 2023, machines called Sentinels have laid waste to much of mutant…

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Neighbors

When it comes to R-rated comedies, there are many tried and true tropes and stereotypes. One is of a hard partying, brainless, sex obsessed fraternity – a la Animal House – and another is of young people who struggle and refuse to grow up – a la countless Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow movies. Those two stereotypes wind up living right next door to each other in Neighbors, although they manage to somehow co-exist and thrive more than the neighbors in the movie.

New parents Mac and Kelly Radnor are already struggling to merge their old, fun…

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2

On the 10-year anniversary of Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst’s first Spider-Man , Marc Webb, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone honored it by remaking it with Amazing in the title – although not everyone thought it was accurate. Now on the 10-year anniversary of Raimi, Maguire and Dunst’s Spider-Man 2, widely considered one of the best comic book movies ever – if not the last good Spider-Man period – Webb, Garfield and Stone take a second shot at a truly Amazing Spider-Man, yet again only get halfway there.

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Noah

Director Darren Aronofsky is renowned for movies such as Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, and Pi. Virtually all of his movies (not just the ones in the previous sentence) have received a positive critical reception, a rare feat. This is one reason why his latest film, Noah, has been so greatly anticipated. This also marks the first time Aronofsky’s work has been virtually unfettered by budget concerns. (According to Wikipedia, his surprise hit Black Swan was made for about 1/10 the cost.)

The fact that Noah boldly retells a story that has religious significance, and is one of…

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The Marvel Cinematic Universe – MCU for short – has a pretty well established formula. The second phase of that formula is reaching a climax, as Thor, Iron Man and now Captain America have had their requisite solo sequels before their big reunion in The Avengers 2 next year. However, not all Marvel sequels are created equal, as Captain America: The Winter Soldier sets the bar for Phase 2 and Avengers 2 in an explosive collision of the past and present – with a new future ahead as a result.

Although Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, already helped save the modern…

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Grudge Match

I first saw the preview for “Grudge Match” right before I saw “Last Vegas.” I immediately got excited because I am an avid Robert DeNiro fan. I have always been a fan of DeNiro, and I always will be a fan of DeNiro. Therefore, I was “in” from the very first moment I saw the preview. What I expected from the movie, however, was not much. My first thought was “Here we go. Another Rocky vs. somebody movie.” What happens in all Rocky movies? Blah, blah, blah, Rocky gets mad, and then Rocky busts a fake beat down on the opposing party. I am not a huge Stallone or Rocky fan at all. Therefore, I went in to “Grudge Match” with the expectation of a corny Rocky movie, but I am…

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