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DEADPOOL Review – ***

Deadpool IMAX poster.jpg

Too bad the best artistry in modern posters is so often confined to exclusives like these. (Source)

Deadpool may ultimately be more a triumph of context than of merit. I personally appreciate the huge bird it’s flipped the MPAA (and the fact that the film-going public, for once to their credit, seconded that salute), and the dedication on the part of its producers, and especially its star, to get such a gleefully graphic and subversive film made as part of a blockbuster franchise, more than I do its own dramatic strengths.

Don’t get me wrong: when Deadpool works, it does work, thanks in large part to Reynolds, who throws himself wholly into the role, never missing a step as he spouts off quip after quip. Even if you find Deadpool’s humor a mite tiresome at times, especially since the film around him provides only fleeting relief, it’s hard to deny that Reynolds is the primary factor in its success.

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BIG HERO 6 Review – ***½

The poster is more distinctive than the film.

The poster is more distinctive than the film.

When Frozen came out last year, I was mostly charmed by it (a hamfisted villain-turn in the third act aside), but as the raves continued, as “Let It Go”, which wasn’t even my favorite song in the film, became tiresomely ubiquitous, as it became hailed as a masterpiece when, all things considered, I felt it was a solid notch below Brave (which I still contend was the better girl-power fantasy)…I began to weary of it, and when it went toe-to-toe with the markedly superior The Wind Rises for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, I rooted for Miyazaki to pull an upset. It wasn’t to be.

Then, when the trailers for Big Hero 6 started dropping, I got excited–here, it seemed, was a film more up my alley. The material and aesthetic were compelling, and Baymax was primed to be a grand scene-stealer. And so he was. And the film looked good and had a lot of potential. It was lighthearted, colorful entertainment, that kept me engaged. And yet a thin plot, a drab villain, and an underdeveloped supporting cast keep from being a great or truly memorable film.

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