‘Dark Phoenix’ Review: A Sour Final Note for the X-Men Series

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Following Hugh Jackman’s final tenure as the Wolverine in Logan, the X-Men series finally comes to its own end by directly adapting the Dark Phoenix Saga – if the title wouldn’t already give that away. But even as a story of this sort would have had so much potential given what the X-Men have always stood for in their long run on the big screen, Dark Phoenix doesn’t even feel engaged with its own story to feel like there’s any sense of closure coming about. It doesn’t even feel like it was made to be a proper ending to this series with Disney having acquired Fox as a means of getting the rights to include the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For his directorial debut, it doesn’t even seem Simon Kinberg was even prepared to give this an ending and thus he tried to make Dark Phoenix too many things all at once but there was never a point in time when it ever felt like it were on its way to adding up properly. It doesn’t have anything to answer now that it’s all come to a finish, but it’s not quite the disaster it could have been with all the constant reshoots pushing the film back over and over again.

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Finding Peace Through Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life: A Review

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Something about watching the films of Terrence Malick always puts me into a trance-like state, beyond the beautiful imagery present in his work to the philosophical outlook his films present on American life – with these qualities being most distinctive in his body of work, but The Tree of Life has always been another case scenario for myself. It clearly rings on all count that this is Terrence Malick at his most personal and also at some of his most thoughtful. It’s not unfamiliar for Terrence Malick to retain such traits all throughout his filmography for even those small traces were present in his early films but The Tree of Life presents yet another case scenario because it feels like everything that Malick had so subtly been building up in his filmography had finally found its own place here. You would only be repeating what is obvious if you were to say that The Tree of Life is a beautiful film because such imagery isn’t unfamiliar to the work of Terrence Malick, but here it creates a whole new aura – one that builds up to something of a greater scope. And the more it goes on, the more it keeps building – and the results are extraordinary.

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Molly’s Game – Review

✯✯✯½

This is the unfiltered version of Aaron Sorkin, now that he finally went behind the camera to direct Molly’s Game. I consider myself a fan of Aaron Sorkin’s quick and witty delivery but there’s also a point to which I felt that a lack of filter for once with Sorkin’s trademarks can become rather excessive and knowing that this is a product that speaks Sorkin through and through, now it’s easier to see where his indulgences end up getting in the way. That said, I don’t want to give away the idea that I didn’t enjoy Molly’s Game, because I don’t see myself ever resisting the sound of Sorkin’s smart-sounding dialogue coming out of Jessica Chastain’s tongue and I got what I expected.

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Miss Sloane – Review

✯✯½

Miss Sloane barely even feels so much like it has something to say, which is one among many of the most disappointing aspects of the film. This Jessica Chastain vehicle, directed by John Madden (who had also directed her in the underrated The Debt) feels like it has something to say, but it doesn’t even have a slight idea how to get its own message across to its viewers. But that’s not the most troubling aspect of Miss Sloane, because it rarely ever feels like a production that’s inviting oneself to come along with its own flow. It isn’t so much like The Big Short in whose case the film is beating down its message with a sense of self-awareness, for Miss Sloane seems to have something agreeable on its outline, then beats down said message without going any further on it. I was hoping for something better, but I’ve only finished Miss Sloane feeling exhausted.

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