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Joshua Starnes

Joshua Starnes has been writing about film and the entertainment industry since 2004 and served as the President of the Houston Film Critics Society from 2012 to 2019. In 2015 he became a co-owner/publisher of Red 5 Comics and in 2018 wrote the series "Kulipari: Dreamwalker" for Netflix. In between he continues his lifelong quest to find THE perfect tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich combination.

Top Gun: Maverick Review

Bombastic, over the top and unapologetically fun, Top Gun: Maverick is the Platonic ideal of an entertaining studio film, a standard bearer for what those words mean and how they can be achieved. Of course what they do mean is different for different people. Slick, lacking rough edges or idiosyncrasy with dialogue forever in search …

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Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers Review

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is a film for no one, interested in neither its source material nor anyone who would have liked said material, embarking on a vain quest for reinvention. The last ten years of tentpole filmmaking have taught us thoroughly the profits and pitfalls of nostalgia. It’s an inducement to the theater …

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The Bad Guys Review: DreamWorks’ Animated Action Comedy

Once upon a time, there was a brilliant new animation company striving to bring new life and feeling — not to mention dollars — to feature animation. And there was DreamWorks Animation, which was supposed to become that company and didn’t. What it did become was the strange other brand to Disney / Pixar, creating …

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The Northman Review: A Viking Fable of Blood and Fire

Equal parts beautiful and desolate like a part of Iceland’s own volcanic countryside, The Northman is auteur Robert Eggers’ most straightforward film, making up in style what it gives up in the complexity of his previous films. Grabbing relentlessly from the tales of Hamlet and Beowulf, Eggers delves back into his continued curiosity about the …

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Spider-Man: No Way Home Movie Review

The third film tends to be tough for Spider-Man. The third Sam Raimi film suffered from competing priorities between filmmaker and producers resulting in multiple entries worth of story being crammed into one movie. The third Marc Webb Spider-Man topped that by never even happening after making the same mistake as the Raimi series, just …

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Encanto Review: Disney’s Magical Family Tale

Once upon a time the format for Disney Animation was simple and unchanging – take a well-known fable or children’s story, add high level ballads and funny animal or magic characters, mix thoroughly and produce fun kids’ perennial. In reality it missed almost as often as it hit, but years of VCR babysitting and endless …

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Eternals Review: The Chloé Zhao-Directed Marvel Studios Film

With one or two really, really well-known exceptions, it’s become the kiss of death for a fantasy sci-fi epic to open with a scroll of exposition. Not because it presages filmmaker’s concerns that audiences won’t understand enough of the nuances of the backstory to properly engage with the prime narrative. But because the opening in …

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The Forever Purge Review: The Rules Are Broken

It started out with a pretty simple idea, right? Create one night a year where everyone can do whatever they want in order to blow off their worst impulses so that they will live as peaceable law-abiding citizens the rest of the year. What could go wrong? Obviously, quite a lot and over its various …

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F9 Review: Here’s What We Thought of the Newest Fast & Furious Film

Once upon a time there was a group of underprivileged youth making ends meet by hijacking trucks to steal home electronics. Then one thing led to another until they one day found themselves racing a submarine on an ice flow in order to save the world. Granted the phrase ‘one thing led to another’ is doing …

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Cruella Review: The Emmas Deliver the Fireworks

Stylish, calculating and beautiful with a pair of perfectly-pitched performances from its two leads, Cruella is an apt reflection of the life its heroine (Emma Stone) wants to lead but may be a decade too late in getting there. A prequel humanizing a villain from a 50-year-old film who literally has ‘devil’ as part of …

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Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse Review

As Hollywood has been slowly overrun with more and more superhero films, many pages of digital ink have been spilled about how and why that has been so. A lot of those think pieces take the stance that the superhero film is childish, homogenous and risk averse as opposed to the adult-oriented entertainment studios used …

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This Is Not a War Story Review: The Talia Lugacy Drama

This Is Not a War Story is lying right from the title card, and that’s okay. It is most definitely a war story, even if all of its stories of war take place off screen and in the past through occasional remanences. But if This Is Not a War Story is low on pyrotechnics, it’s …

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