GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – VOL. 3 – Review by Susan Granger

If you’ve been an avid follower of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and writer/director James Gunn’s fun-loving band of intergalactic outcasts, you may be intrigued by Rocket Raccoon’s origin story. In previous installments of the Guardians sci-fi action-comedy concept, there’s been good-natured, space-pirate humor but, here, they’re just babbling nonsense for a bloated two hours, 30 minutes. The best sequences are poignant flashbacks showing how young Rocket gains sentience and bonds with other genetically-altered species, like an otter, rabbit and walrus. The worst sequences involve gross ‘n’ gruesome, heavy-handed destruction. And it’s curious that James Gunn seems to be connecting with the currently controversial ‘trans’ experience.

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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 3 – Review by Susan Kamyab

I know I have been saying that since Endgame and Spiderman: No Way Home, Marvel has cranked out some underwhelming sequels. So, that put a lot of pressure on the third installment of the beloved Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Well, I am so happy to say that Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is a hit and a solid ending to a fantastic trilogy.

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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Nine years after entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the lovably flawed Guardians of the Galaxy say goodbye with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, an eclectic and affectionate mixtape that’s funny, thrilling, shattering, and bittersweet. The satisfying ending is a sendoff that lands just right, emphasizing how the unlikely heroes have been saving each other all along.

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THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE – Review by Susan Granger

There’s no doubt that the new box-office champ is The Super Mario Bros. Movie, a computer-animated comedy adventure. Based on the popular video game, this family-friendly film has redeemed the Nintendo franchise’s reputation after its catastrophic 1993 live-action movie adaptation. Scripted by Matthew Fogel and directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, it’s the hectic origin story for mustached Mario and his younger brother Luigi. They’re New York plumbers who decide to start their own business, even as they’re mocked by their former boss.

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THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Thor: Love and Thunder has the verve of a glam-rock musical, full of Guns N’ Roses riffs, bursts of lightning, and technicolor travels along the Rainbow Bridge. But its core is the tender idea that we all crave and need love, even if it hurts to lose it. Taika Waititi, who blasted new energy and humor into the staid superhero with 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, returns at the helm of this often-loopy vessel and still loves absurdity. Yet the humor works better here.

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JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION – Review by Susan Granger

Jurassic World: Dominion marks the return of the human characters who propelled previous sequels. Problem is: as a result of frenzied storylines, numerous gargantuan species and too many bumbling characters, there’s no emotional connection. And when two savage CGI apex predators finally grapple, it’s over a puny deer carcass. Perhaps this cautionary tale heralds the extinction of the once-beloved Jurassic franchise.

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JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Director Colin Trevorrow keeps the globe-hopping action moving at a brisk pace, likely so viewers don’t ask many questions. The action sequences are effective, easy to track and edited with a blend of wide and closer shots, some with teeth snapping right at the screen. Yet the story lacks teeth: There’s no cohesion, or satisfying setups and payoffs. It’s enough to drive some dino fans buggy.

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JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION – Review by T.J. Callahan

Dinosaurs are chasing Bryce Dallas Howard again and this time she’s wearing flats. The good: double the dinosaurs, plenty of action, nostalgia, more snarky Jeff Goldblum, and strong and smart female characters that are the equal of men. The not so good: multiple meh storylines, cheesy acting, and not enough people get eaten. You know that’s what the public really wants.

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ONWARD – Review by Brandy McDonnell

“Onward” represents a huge leap for director/co-writer Dan Scanlon over his previous Pixar feature, the passable “Monsters University,” because it feels personal – and it is. He based the core story on his own experiences growing up without his father, who died when the filmmaker just was a baby, and those emotions resonate throughout the film.

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