THE MARVELS – Review by Susan Granger

In 2019, when Brie Larson first assumed the title role in Captain Marvel, the sci-fi fantasy racked up a $153.4 million opening, yet – back in November – when its sequel The Marvels opened, it garnered only $46.1 million, making it the most disappointing opening in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s history. So what went wrong with this new female-powered action saga? It’s simply silly.

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LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY – Review by Susan Granger

Looking for something different? Try Lessons in Chemistry, based on Bonnie Garmus’s 2022 novel about Elizabeth Zott (Brie Larson), a brilliant but solitary scientist who becomes the host of a cooking show, a precursor to Julia Child. Elizabeth’s mantra is: “Cooking is chemistry and chemistry is life. Your ability to change everything, including yourself starts here.”

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THE MARVELS – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

The Marvels is the loopiest Marvel Studios movie this side of The Guardians of the Galaxy films, with three leads whose company is a joy. It’s also the kind of film where it’s best not to overthink. The villain’s murky motives take time to gel, and there’s word salad for some dialogue, but at its best moments, it’s an entertaining lark with genuine humor and endearing enthusiasm.

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THE MARVELS – Review by T.J. Callahan

The Marvels are out to change the MCU with a team of three teleporting tough girls in charge of a multi planet search and rescue mission. The astral alliance of Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau aka Professor Marvel and Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel complement each other’s powers in a race to keep a scorned adversary from stealing the galaxy’s natural resources to save her own dying orb.

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FAST X – Review by Susan Granger

Fasten your seat belts! Fast X – the 10th installment in the Fast and Furious franchise – is just the first of a three-part finale revolving around continuing saga of street-racing vigilantes, headed by mumbling Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). No longer satisfied with L.A, drag racing, the action-packed locations include stunts and demolition in Rome, London, Rio de Janeiro, Antarctica and outer space (not really!) – on a $340 million budget.

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FAST X – Review by Susan Kamyab

Unfortunately, this was one of the worst Fast and Furious films. I think we all expect the movies to be silly and they have always been self-aware of how ridiculous they can be with their impossible stunts. But sadly, Fast X just proves that the franchise is running out of gas. Fast X pushes the boundaries of how far their over-the-top storylines and action can go. These movies should go back to the basics of films 1 through 5 and stay more focused. Also, enough with the dramatic “all about family” conversations. Even with outlandish plots and stunts, the dialogue can at least be realistic. Fast X” does end on a cliffhanger, setting up for what is supposed to be the franchise’s final film. If that’s the case, what they have put in place could make for a better second half of this story and hopefully, a respectable goodbye.

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FAST X – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

After 22 years, the Fast and Furious franchise finally gets a memorable villain in Fast X, thanks to Jason Momoa. This series needs an adversary as gonzo as its off-the-wall antics, and bless Momoa (Slumberland) for going the extra mile and then some. As the son of the drug lord whom the crew robbed and killed by hauling a vault through the streets of Rio in 2011’s Fast Five, his character has a vendetta against Fast’s extended faaaaamily.

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FAST X – Review by T. J. Callahan

Dominic Toretto and his team of heisting hoodlums with hearts are still pushing the pedal to the metal 21 years after they first got their license to drive to the top of the Box Office. There’s no truth to the rumor that the working title for this 10th installment was Fast X-LAX. After all, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and the rest of the family have been kicking butt and taking names since 2001. That’s a lot of stress on the body, but in Fast X there is no easing up on the gas and no brake (break) in sight….until at least Fast 12.

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JUST MERCY – Review by Martha K Baker

In 2014, Stevenson wrote Just Mercy, which recounts the beginning of the Equal Justice Initiative, similar to the Innocence Project and the Midwest Innocence Project. Stevenson’s book has become a most respectable film, the kind that forces a sob to rise from the heart at the end as captions explain what happened after the last scene fades to black.

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