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Maryann Brandon

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Review

RATING: (2 STARS) Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the fifth Star Wars film in as many years, arrived in theaters before Christmas more with a sense of exhausted obligation than breathless anticipation. It wasn’t just that we’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time in this world lately. The discourse around these films has […]

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) “It’s good.” “I need more than that, buddy.” “It’s enjoyable.” “OK, that’s a start.” That was a conversation I had with my 12-year-old brother-in-law immediately following our viewing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He wanted to help me craft my review. They’re simple adjectives but also perfectly appropriate for the film […]

Star Trek Into Darkness Review

Star Trek Into Darkness Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Overstuffed and overly serious, Star Trek Into Darkness fails to capture the magic J.J. Abrams brought to Star Trek, his 2009 reboot of the popular sci-fi series. It’s far from a horrible summer movie; On the contrary, its almost overwhelming imagination and brisk pace mean you’re in store for nearly two hours […]

Kung Fu Panda 2 Review

Kung Fu Panda 2 Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) Kung Fu Panda 2, like so many other animated sequels (and sequels in general, really), is brought down by questions about its necessity. When money is the only compelling reason to make a film, it seems anathema to come up with a concept that doesn’t feel somewhat unworthy. It’s what plagued Cars […]

Super 8 Review

Super 8 Review

RATING: (2 STARS) If a director’s heart and passion were indicators of quality, Super 8 would be one of the best movies of the year. If the Oscars were given for ability to imitate Super 8 producer Steven Spilberg’s movies, the film would clean up. Unfortunately, all the passion and Spielberg-esque tricks in the world […]