NOC Review: ‘Eternals’ is a Daring, Bold, Different Direction for the MCU

I’ll get this out of the way now. If you’re expecting Eternals to be standard fare for the MCU, it’s not. This is going to be a divisive movie. And it’s because it’s heavy, it’s out there, it’s a bit slower paced, a bit more disconnected from the established films for now, and it covers a ton of ground.

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Paging Dr. Yueh: An Interview with Chang Chen from ‘Dune’

Tonight’s the night! It’s been a long road for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, and the country is finally going to see his faithful, epic, visually stunning adaptation hit the big screen, in the way it was meant to be seen! And to celebrate, we are finally going to reveal that were given the very exciting opportunity to speak with Dune star, Chang Chen, who plays the complex Doctor Yueh.

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Thoughts and Reactions to Watching ‘The Matrix Revolutions’ for the First Time

It’s been a little over a month now since the first trailer for the upcoming Matrix film, The Matrix Resurrections, came out. As we wait the time away for its December release, I decided to finish what I started over two years ago by watching the second and third films of the franchise.

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‘Ouija Japan’ Summons Greatness but is Cursed with Being Decent

Something that has always fascinated me in horror movies is that through the sheer bombastic embrace of all things repulsive in society, it can often be the best mirror image society has of itself. Whether it be through nightmare dream logic, campy visual stylization, or an over abundance of gore, when you strip the horror genre to its core there is a meaning behind the madness.

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New Manga-Inspired ‘Dune’ Poster Debuts

The countdown for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is on! And though much of the world has seen the film already, a few territories are still waiting in anticipation for their journey to Arrakis. We in the US are still, of course, waiting for the film to hit theaters on October 22. However, Japan only has 11 days more, since the film hits cinemas there on October 15!

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NOC Review: ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ is Fun Enough But Toothless

So Venom happened. Back in 2018, the movie came out. And it was fun. Dumb, for sure. But fun enough. It was a movie that benefitted off Tom Hardy’s charisma and greater understanding of what this movie franchise really should be — a ‘00s era tongue-in-cheek, Army of Darkness-toned camp fest released in 2018. And for the most part it was a success with audiences. But for comic book movies in a post-Dark Knight, post-MCU era, I can honestly say it doesn’t register high among my list of greatest superhero films. It frankly doesn’t register at all. While I had fun with the film, to me, that first film set a relatively low bar for its own franchise. So imagine my surprise and disappointment to see that Venom: Let There Be Carnage barely even attempts to clear that bar.

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‘When I’m A Moth’ is Beautiful but Doesn’t Say Anything

Waking from a dream never felt so unfinished as it did when I reached the end credits of When I’m A Moth, an independent film directed by Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak, written by Cotler. It’s a film that on paper has all the markings of being an arthouse darling — a small cast, eerie poetic dream visuals, pontifications on choice and fate with a going nowhere protagonist and yet, as I rose from my seat afterwards, it felt as if I was remembering a half dream. Unable to finish the thought of what it wanted to be but fascinated by the parts I could remember.

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Thoughts and Reactions to Watching ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ For the First Time

Two years ago, in the midst of the Keanussance, I took the red pill and didn’t look back when I watched The Matrix for the first time. It was an intense yet awesome first showing and it has since come to be one of my favorite films.

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‘Language Lessons’ Is A Lesson To Behold

Two people from across different continents use webcams to build a beautiful friendship rooted in understanding each other, both linguistically and emotionally in Language Lessons. Natalie Morales directs, co-writes, and stars alongside Mark Duplass in a film that is both incredibly simple in production execution and completely captivating through its narrative and strong performances.

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NOC Review: ‘Dune’ is Decent

Sometimes there are movies that just come into your life, and live rent free in your brain days or weeks after you’ve seen them. That’s how you know you generally love them, and they make a profound impact on you. Either you replay or relive scenes that made you smile or blew you away. Furthermore, when you see them again, you still smile, or laugh, or get goosebumps. The Matrix in 1999. The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001. The Dark Knight in 2008. The Avengers in 2012 and Endgame in 2019.

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NOC Review: ‘Shang-Chi’ is Spectacular

Whether it’s an overall sense of fatigue from mainstream audiences who aren’t into comic book films, or perhaps a general sense of pandemic malaise from folks unsatisfied with the state of entertainment these days, it seems like the momentum and good will the MCU has cultivated the past 12 years has turned to mixed sentiment for most of this year.

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‘Unapologetic’ is an Unflinching Exploration of Activism

“What is this helping?” is one of the first sentences uttered by a white restaurant patron unsettled in Unapologetic’s first scene, where protestors express the reality of the recent deaths of Black residents in their community to unsuspecting people eating brunch at restaurants. The scene perfectly encompasses the themes and motives of this documentary: a large and triumphant call to arms to make a more honest and equal world while people sit quietly trying to ignore not only the performance, but the actual knowledge of those who are destroyed and subjugated by these injustices.

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‘Bring Your Own Brigade’ Burns Bright

Two cites, two fires, and rising temperatures flare up in Bring Your Own Brigade, an American documentary film by Lucy Walker, following the aftermath of the 2018 California Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire that destroyed Paradise and Malibu, California.

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NOC Review: ‘The Suicide Squad’ is Pure Comic Book Punk Rock

You’ll have to forgive me for geeking out just a bit here. But I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this insane movie twice now, and I still want more. I cannot begin to describe to you all how much I enjoyed this movie the first time, and even how much more I enjoyed it the second time around. The Suicide Squad is James Gunn off the leash! And I think comic book movies will be better for it!

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‘Snake Eyes’ Rolls High With Experimental Take on Classic Character’s Origin

I couldn’t tell you much about the G.I. Joe universe. I know the pamphlet description: a group of U.S. anti-terrorists militants devoted to truth, justice, and never skipping leg day. I know that there are not one, but two live-action movies that I remember seeing, but couldn’t recite either premise even under pressure. And now, I know that whatever those other movies were doing, they were definitely focusing on the wrong Joe.

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NOC Review: ‘Snake Eyes’ is a Win for the ‘G.I. Joe’ Franchise

Disclaimer: I would like to apologize in advance to everyone out there who is a huge G.I. Joe fan, because you’re about to read a review from someone who isn’t a hardcore fan. I have heard mixed things about the film from a hardcore fan perspective, and I know some of the fans aren’t happy the mythology was changed. I would like you to know that if that’s the case, I’ve been there.

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NOC Review: This ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ is Unfortunately Bland

If there were two words I would use to describe Gunpowder Milkshake it would be “wasted talent.”

I really wanted to like this one. These are some of the finest actresses ever to grace the screen. Karen Gillan is a badass. Lena Headey is incredible. Angela Bassett is a talent powerhouse. Carla Gugino has always been one of the most underrated character actresses ever. And Michelle Yeoh is simply a legend. But unfortunately the awkward direction of this movie fails them hard in a film that should absolutely be better than it actually is.

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‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ is For the Children (and Pop Culture Fanatics)

It was only 25 years ago when a major movie studio decided to take the world’s greatest athlete and put him in the world of Looney Tunes. Back in 1996, Space Jam was a phenomenon that sprung action figures, merchandise, comics, and video games.

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‘Black Widow’ Thrives on Epic Action, Family, and Legacy

We’ve needed a Black Widow film since the character was first introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2010’s Iron Man 2. Throughout the eleven years with Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), audiences have learned so much about the character’s difficult upbringing in the infamous Red Room to her time with the Avengers and her  ultimate sacrifice in Endgame. In Black Widow, we are given a glimpse into Natasha’s past and how that made her into the badass assassin we know today. 

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NOC Review: ‘F9’ is F-ing Ridiculous… Yet Still Sorta Fun!

I’ll say it upfront right now, this is probably the most ridiculous installment yet in terms of what they try to get away with in this one. I mean even for a franchise where someone can crash a car through three skyscrapers and survive without a scratch, they do stuff here that just makes zero sense, and it’s incredibly laughable because of it. But let’s be honest, we know the franchise is going to try crap like this, because the filmmakers are blissfully aware about how stupid all of this is, and that makes it honestly a lot more acceptable.

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Jumping In With the Cast and Creators of Pixar’s ‘Luca’

One of the most wonderful things about working with The Nerds of Color is that I find myself constantly in the most fortunate position of getting to meet some of the best, most talented individuals working today. And when you think about talent in Hollywood, few brands come to mind greater than Pixar Animation Studios. In celebration of the release of its newest masterpiece, Luca, which hits Disney+ today, I was fortunate enough to meet with the director and producer of the film, Enrico Casarosa and Andrea Warren, as well as legendary comedian, Jim Gaffigan (who voices Lorenzo in the film), and two of the most talented young actors working in the industry today: Jack Dylan Grazer, who plays Alberto, and Jacob Tremblay, who plays the titular character, Luca Paguro.

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NOC Review: Pixar’s ‘Luca’ is Molto Bello

I’ve done several Pixar reviews for this site already, dating back to Toy Story 4 through to Soul. And every single one I cover tends to start with the usual: something something unique, something something they set the standard, etc. By now you know the drill. They’re still considered the best in the business. And while several other animation studios are worthy of the mantle (particularly Laika, Walt Disney Feature Animation, and Sony Pictures Animation are coming for it), at this juncture, Pixar’s only greatest competition is Pixar.

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‘In the Heights’ Captures the Beauty of Washington Heights and the Community Behind It

It seems like only yesterday when national treasure and lyricist genius Lin-Manuel Miranda graced the Richard Rodgers Theatre as Usnavi in the Broadway production of In the Heights. Now, 13 years later, the Tony Award-winning musical is finally premiering on the big screen next month. 

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