So, Cars 2 Is Kind of Great

Cars 2 does everything a good sequel isn’t supposed to do:

  • It focuses on a minor character from the first film while essentially sidelining the expected main character.
  • It doesn’t follow the same story pattern as the first film.
  • It doesn’t even logically follow as a natural progression of the original’s story.

Despite all of this, I can’t help but enjoy it immensely. I like it much more than the original Cars, though that’s not saying much. The only reason I give that movie a pass is because it’s the first film I ever saw in a theater with the girl who would become my wife.

Cars 2 was a pleasant surprise. I avoided it for years because I had heard nothing but mixed to negative things about it. But when I finally sat down and watched the silly thing, I found myself immediately hooked. There’s just something about spy movies that makes them incredibly compelling to me. When done right, a la most James Bond movies and the original Bourne Identity, they have an air of self-confidence and cleverness that keeps me glued to my seat the whole time. And Cars 2 has that in spades.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s break down exactly why Cars 2 didn’t break down for me. Continue reading

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Spider-Man: Homecoming Is Something Special

Spider-Man: Homecoming is exceptional in many ways. I don’t watch many movies in theaters, but this is one that I made an exception for. Twice. It’s a reboot and the sixth Spider-Man film in the past 15 years, but it feels like the freshest, most exuberant take on the character yet. It’s not an origin story, but it manages to have a better coming-of-age story for Peter Parker than even the original Spider-Man.

Spider-Man: Homecoming nails everything that makes the character great.This is a special film. The way I know that is because I’ve already seen it twice, and I still can’t wait to see it again. Very few movies make me crave more, and this is one of them.

I went into the film the first time without knowing anything detailed about it. I had seen Captain America: Civil War and an early trailer for it, but I hadn’t read any reviews and I didn’t know what to expect. I’m so glad I did that because the movie surprised me and delighted me the whole way through. There were many times when I found myself dumbfounded by how the movie kept getting everything right about Spider-Man.

I’m going to share everything I love about this movie without giving away any spoilers because I want you to know what you have to look forward to. If you’ve already seen it, then this will be a fun reminder of just how great the film is. Continue reading

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10 Villains Who Were Defeated by Simply Ignoring Them

It’s refreshing when a film subverts expectations. For example, we usually expect an epic battle between good and evil at the end so that the hero will decisively triumph over his enemies. But sometimes that’s not necessary. Sometimes the hero’s best option is to ignore his foe and let him destroy himself. And today we’re going to examine 10 villains who were defeated by simply ignoring them.

I’m not saying that the heroes in these films did absolutely nothing to defeat the villains or that if they had ignored the villains from the very start they would have won. I’m just saying that after struggling against them time and time again they finally came to a climactic moment when they realized that the best course of action was to turn their back on their old rival. Continue reading

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Edge of Tomorrow Should Have Been Called The Longest Day

The title says it all. But for the sake of completeness I’ll go ahead and give my reasoning for why Edge of Tomorrow should have been called The Longest Day. Continue reading

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Ron Howard: The Circle Is Now Complete

In honor of Ron Howard becoming the director of the upcoming Han Solo standalone film, I present my own take on this surprising turn of events. You see, Howard starred in the pre-Star Wars George Lucas film American Graffiti in 1973. Even back then as an actor, he had aspirations to direct and Lucas nurtured them. They even worked together on the 1988 film Willow. But that was early in Howard’s career, before he really found himself. And Star Wars will always be Lucas’s baby.

Now that Howard is an Academy Award-winning director and he is directing a film in the Star Wars extended universe, it’s only right that we hearken back to the original Star Wars film to make this analogy. May the force be with you, Ron Howard! Continue reading

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My Newborn Son Is Finally Home

After spending 11 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), my newest son Isaac has finally come home. I beg you to indulge this proud father one more time. Last week I wrote about my disappointment and fear at having my newborn hooked up to various pieces of breathing apparatus to help him as his underdeveloped lungs slowly got stronger. It was hard to see him in pain and not be able to comfort him.

But all of that came to a sudden close when I got a call from a nurse at the hospital yesterday saying that my son was good to go. I was worried he might need to take home some oxygen equipment that I would have to learn how to use, but thankfully he was breathing on his own without the need for any assistance. Continue reading

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I’m Still Glad to Be a Dad

Father’s Day came earlier than usual this year for me because I just welcomed my fourth child into the world on June 8. It was a melancholy experience because although it was wonderful to meet my third son for the first time, he had to be immediately carted away and put on a CPAP machine and later hooked up to a ventilator to help him keep his lungs inflated. And this has sadly proven to be the rule, not the exception, with most of my children.

When I first became the Deja Reviewer back in 2011, my wife had recently given birth to our second child. Our first two children had trouble breathing after they were born, and they had to spend several days in the NICU. They didn’t face any permanent damage, and they are perfectly healthy today. But I was left a little emotionally scarred. In 2012, our third child was born without any complications. That was literally a breath of fresh air, and my wife and I were so grateful to keep him in the same hospital room he was delivered in and not have to part with him at all. It was a pleasant surprise. Continue reading

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