THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY HOLIDAY SPECIAL – Review by Susan Granger

An animated flashback that shows how, years ago, Yondu (Michael Rooker) ruined Christmas for young Peter Quill by trashing his tree, throwing out his gifts and scolding him for his sentimentality. Listening to this recollection in outer space and realizing how much now-grown Peter – a.k.a. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) – misses Earth’s holiday customs and traditions, his Guardian friends, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista), embark on a quest to find him the perfect Christmas gift.

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BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER – Review by T.J. Calllahan

Wakanda Forever has the least action of any superhero film in the MCU. And when there is action, the fighting is flat. It’s just not exciting and that’s really why most movie watchers go to Superhero pictures. Wakanda does have a strong message about family and tradition and a fierce Angela Bassett. She’s “spear-tacular”, above and below sea level, while swimming was an unfathomable task for a few other actors.

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SPIDERMAN: NO WAY HOME – Review by Susan Granger

Spidey swings again! The new sequel Spiderman: No Way Home topped $600 million, becoming the biggest hit in Sony Pictures history and ranking as one of the 10 top-grossing domestic hits of all time. In this third go-round as the teenage web-slinger, Tom Holland’s likable Peter Parker loses his anonymity when malevolent muckraker J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) reveals his identity as a Queens, New York, high school student.

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SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME – Review by Lauren Anderson

In No Way Home, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker finds himself in a world where everyone knows his name and believes he murdered Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio. To try and right his wrongs and give the people he loves a second go at life, Peter connects with Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in the hopes of turning back time. In doing so, everyone Peter knows and loves will lose memory of who he is, but Peter’s willing to make that sacrifice. After a botched time-turning spell, there’s a glitch in the multiverse, setting us up for one of the most engaging Spider-Man movies to date.

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ETERNALS – Review by Karen Peterson

Myth, legend, and theology come together like they never have before in Marvel’s newest entry, Eternals. Academy Award-winning director Chloé Zhao brings her intimate, personal style of storytelling to cinema’s most sprawling universe, introducing new characters and new ideas to the familiar franchise. Despite the action and the visual effects, there’s little to remind us that this is a Marvel movie. it serves as a curious addition to the collection and an exciting peek into the future of the franchise. It is a future more reflective of the world we live in, with grander ideas and new types of storytelling.

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BLACK WIDOW – Review by Leslie Combemale

There are a number of derivative story elements, but they are packaged in a new and empowering way, even as they stretch our suspension of disbelief to a near-breaking point. Who am I kidding? Marvel is fantasy. Natasha is a super soldier in a world where she’s friends with a Norse God, a man who shrinks to the size of an atom, and a dude who woke up after being frozen in ice for over 50 years.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 9, 2021: BLACK WIDOW

Fun on fairly standard action flick level. but look a little deeper, and you’ll see that Cate Shortland is telling a story about women’s agency and right to choose. Not every woman can stick up for herself with knives and acrobatic fight moves, but we can all speak up for our sisters and stand by their side when they need our help. Or a helicopter to fly.

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