[FILM REVIEW] You’re Next (Adam Wingard, 2011)

A woman named Erin has traveled with her boyfriend, Crispian Davison, to a vacation home in rural Missouri. It is a family reunion held by Crispian’s parents, Aubrey and Paul. Also joining them is Drake, Kelly, Felix, Aimee, Zee, and Tariq. Drake is Crispian’s older brother and Kelly is the former’s wife. Felix and Aimee are Crispian’s younger siblings – their partners are Zee and Tariq respectively. Unbeknownst to this family, a man wearing a lamb mask has recently killed a woman, writing the words “You’re Next” in blood. This simple reunion will hit a snag when this killer decides to pay a visit.

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[FILM REVIEW] Thor: Ragnarok (Taika Waititi, 2017)

Two years have passed since the defeat of Ultron in the battle of Sokovia. Thor has been imprisoned by the fire demon Surtur. While in captivity, the demon reveals that Odin is no longer on Asgard and the realm will soon be destroyed following an event known as the Twilight of the Gods – Ragnarök. Just when Surtur unites his crown with the Eternal Flame burning in Odin’s vault, Thor frees himself. He then battles Surtur’s forces and seizes the demon’s crown. Though he believes he prevented Ragnarök, the battle has only just begun.

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[FILM REVIEW] Legion (Scott Stewart, 2010)

A winged being descends onto Earth in Los Angeles. He then raids a weapons warehouse and steals a police car, traveling towards the edge of the Mojave Desert. Elsewhere, a single father named Kyle stops at the Paradise Falls Diner. There, he meets the owner, Bob Hanson. Also at the diner is Bob’s son, Jeep, a short-order cook named Percy, Charlie, a pregnant waitress, Howard and Sandra Anderson, a married couple, and Audrey, their teenage daughter. Though it appears to be an ordinary day, things take a turn for the strange when the diner’s communications equipment fails and an anomalously hostile elderly woman steps inside.

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[FILM REVIEW] Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2014)

A programmer named Caleb Smith works for the world’s premier search engine company Blue Book. By chance, he wins an office contest, allowing him to visit the luxurious abode of Blue Book CEO, Nathan Bateman. The CEO lives alone with his sole companion being a servant named Kyoko who doesn’t speak English. It is here Nathan demonstrates his latest invention: an android outfitted with artificial intelligence named Ava. Nathan wants Caleb to judge whether or not Ava has a true consciousness.

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Top 10: Best Films of 2018

I can’t say I’m as knowledgeable about films as I am video games, but I do find myself in the theaters quite often. Indeed, if one were to take the journalists at face value, one could get the impression that 2018 was a triumphant year in filmmaking, setting the bar higher while surpassing the masters of old. Having watched many classic films at home throughout 2018, I can confirm this is absolutely not the case. As a year, 2018 had not even the vague affectations of consistency. While I admittedly enjoyed a majority of the praised films from 2018, every now and again, I would see an acclaimed dud. In 2017, the worst film I saw in theaters was also the one with the least acclaim. In 2018, there were several instances in which I enjoyed films with relatively low scores over ones universally praised. When critics think solely with their hearts, it can make assessing the quality of their favorites tricky.

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[FILM REVIEW] Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955)

In the rural Bengal village of Nischindipur, Harihar Roy does whatever he can to provide for his family. He lives with his wife, daughter, and an elderly cousin – Sarbajaya, Durga, and Indir. Indir and Sarbajaya cannot stand one another, though Durga has a fondness for the former, often stealing fruit from a wealthy neighbor’s orchid for her. Harihar is especially determined to find work because his wife is pregnant with their second child. When he is born, they name him Apurba – or Apu.

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[FILM REVIEW] Thor: The Dark World (Alan Taylor, 2013)

In the distant past, Bor, the father of Odin, faced off against Malekith. The leader of the Dark Elves sought to unleash a weapon called the Aether on the Nine Realms before Bor handed him a crushing defeat. Following his victory, Bor secured the Aether in a stone column, though Malekith and a portion of his forces manage to escape.

It is now the year 2013 and Loki, the adopted son of Odin, stands trial for instigating a coordinated attack with the Chitauri in New York City one year prior. Meanwhile, the Bifröst has been recently reconstructed, causing no shortage of turmoil in the Nine Realms. Thor, along with Frandral, Volstagg, and Sif, repel an invading army on Vanaheim. After achieving victory, Thor and his comrades learn of the Convergence – a rare event in which the Nine Realms align. This causes interdimensional portals to appear at random. One such portal happens to be in London, England on Earth, drawing the attention of Dr. Jane Foster.

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[FILM REVIEW] Thor (Kenneth Branagh, 2011)

In the year 965 A.D., a fierce battle was waged between Odin, the king of Asgard, and the Frost Giants of Jotunheim. The Frost Giants’ leader, Laufey, would stop at nothing to conquer the nine realms, intending to start with Earth. Before his ambitions came to pass, the Asgardian warriors defeated the Frost Giants in in Tønsberg, Norway. In doing so, they seized the source of the Frost Giants’ power: the Casket of Ancient Winters. It is now the year 2011 and Odin’s son, Thor is prepared to ascend to the throne of Asgard. However, after hearing about the Frost Giants’ desire to reclaim the Casket, he, without Odin’s knowledge, travels to Jotunheim to confront Laufey. Assisting him are his brother, Loki, childhood friend, Sif, and the Warriors Three:  Fandral, Volstagg, and Hogun. Though he is doubtlessly brave for his efforts, Thor may suffer a dire consequence for his rash actions.

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[FILM REVIEW] The Incredible Hulk (Louis Leterrier, 2008)

General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross once met with Dr. Bruce Banner, the boyfriend of his daughter, Betty, with an interesting proposition. Ross aims to recreate the results of a World War II-era program in order to create an army of super soldiers. Had it been successful, he would’ve found a way to make humans immune to gamma radiation. Unfortunately, the experiment failed, and the radiation caused Banner to transform into a giant, raging beast for brief periods whenever his heart rate exceeds 200 beats per minute. Five years have passed since that day, and Banner now works at a bottling factory in Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro. He is determined to seek a cure for his condition, secretly corresponding with an unidentified individual known as Mr. Blue. He has not transformed in five months, but his peaceful existence is not to last.

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[FILM REVIEW] Avengers: Endgame (Anthony Russo & Joe Russo, 2019)

WARNING: The very premise of this film contains spoilers for the series thus far. If you intend to watch Avengers: Infinity War blind, do not read any part of this review.

The unthinkable has happened. Thanos the Mad Titan has seized every single one of the six Infinity Stones, thereby completing the Infinity Gauntlet. With a snap of his fingers, half of the universe’s population disintegrated into dust. Countless heroes lost their lives, the Guardians of the Galaxy have fallen, and those who remain face a foe of incalculable power. With the Infinity Stones at their full potential, Thanos has control over all life in the universe, time, and every single mind in existence. Even if they mounted a resistance against him, he could easily stop them before they had a chance to effect their plan. If they were to defy the odds and strike him down, he would simply erase his defeat and respond in kind with a force his assailant couldn’t even dream of standing up to. Even with a powerful reinforcement in the form of Carol Danvers, do the surviving heroes stand a chance against this omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent enemy?

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