In other words, this movie is crowded. Maybe overcrowded. Marvel and Sony’s new Spider-Man (Tom Holland) steals the show with his wisecracks and web-swinging, but serves almost no narrative purpose. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) is only slightly more important to the story; his main function is to introduce the character to a broader audience before he gets spun off into his own standalone movie in 2018. The subplot involving the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) ties up some loose ends from the last Captain America movie, but it’s not really crucial to the film’s central conflict between Cap (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) over governmental control of the Avengers. (The Winter Soldier barely appears in the original Civil War comics.)
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When you go to the movies this year, there’s one thing you’re guaranteed to see a lot of: superheroes. Captain America: Civil War will feature at least 15 superheroes and supervillains, and throughout 2016 roughly 60 comic book characters will grace...
Oh what a different 18 months makes. A year ago, last fall Spider-Man fans were facing an entire universe of Spidey movies they didn’t particularly want; a third Amazing Spider-Man about the continuing and not-particularly-exciting adventures of Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker, plus spinoff movies for Venom and the Sinister Six. Things got so bad for Spider-Man that when rumors began circulating that Sony was considering an Aunt May movie, Sony had to publicly dismiss those rumors as “silly” with “no validity whatsoever” because people thought that the company that made Amazing Spider-Man 2 might actually be dumb enough to make an Aunt May movie.
After watching a handful of films from the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s latest series, “An Early Clue to the New Direction: Queer Cinema Before Stonewall,” I started asking myself: What does it mean to be queer?
Last month, I tried out the new 4DX theater at the Regal Cinemas in Manhattan’s Union Square. Seating in the theater is assigned and it was a packed house; by the time I bought my ticket, my only choice was in a solo seat wedged between two other parties. To my left, was a couple in their 30s. To my right, was a guy who looked to be in his early 20s. When the movie started, he took out his cell phone and began taking pictures of the screen. He snapped a photo of the title card; of Superman’s first appearance; of the debut of the new Batmobile.
The Boss is not a good comedy. At times, it is impressively unfunny. In 99 patience testing minutes, I laughed out loud just once. (If you must know, it was when Melissa McCarthy described her vagina after a rejuvenation surgery as resembling a “soft silk purse.” That’s funny!) As the credits finally rolled on the press screening and I gathered my belongings, I thought to myself “That was exactly the sort of cruddy, heavily improvised, flop-sweat drenched unfunny comedy that typically ends with outtakes and bloopers.”
Hollywood recently took a major stand against LGBT discrimination by protesting Georgia’s religious liberty bill. Though the fight was won on Monday when Georgia governor Nathan Deal vetoed the bill, there are still a handful of states with pending legislation against the LGBT community that Hollywood can and should boycott.
Movies are the most immersive art form ever created. At their best, they are almost literally transportive. But apparently, they’re not quite immersive or transportive enough. Over the last couple years, studios and exhibitors have hatched up a series of new gimmicks designed to bring customers “inside” the movie (and to bring studios and exhibitors further inside their customers’ wallets), from 3D to IMAX to D-BOX. The latest is 4DX, which has been around in various parts of the world since 2009, but just debuted in New York City this week. According to its official site, which bills the format as “the ultimate in state of the art technology delivering a fully immersive cinematic experience,” 4DX advances “the movie theater experience from watching the movie to almost living it.”
This is it. The moment you’ve waited nearly two hours (and technically more than two years, since the film was announced at Comic-Con 2013): Batman and Superman are going to square off. God versus man. Day versus night. Collateral damage ignorer versus criminal brander. Who will prevail? We’re finally going to know!
Even before the early reviews began rolling in, the trailers solidified Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman as the most exciting attraction in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Audiences agreed, as Wonder Woman — whose name isn’t even in the title of the film — ranked highest in a recent poll that asked fans which character they were most eager to see in Zack Snyder’s superhero epic. As predicted, Gadot’s debut is definitely the best thing in Batman v Superman, and although her part only makes up about seven minutes of the film’s 150-minute runtime, those few minutes are riveting — but not enough to justify Snyder’s unfortunate treatment of the remaining female characters.