Screened Out – Suicide Squad

By : Stephen Miller
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Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Cara Delvigne, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ben Affleck, Jay Hernandez, Karen Fukuhara

Comic book fans are aching for their favorite DC villains to make a great film. Sure, by standards set by comic nostalgia, Suicide Squad may be good – witnessing these characters together on screen. However, as a stand-alone movie, Suicide Squad doesn’t cut it.

I am not a comic book fan, though I do admire the art and the medium. I am a fan of plot, character, and theme, and how they play out in good film. Despite how good the comic books are, movies should be able to stand on their own.

Suicide Squad – a flick full of less-than-good people – is a less-than-good film.

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Screened Out – Terminator Genisys

By : Stephen Miller
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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke, Byung-hun Lee

The 2009 film Terminator Salvation – besides being robotic – got flak from fans for not having Schwarzenegger revive his famous role. Genisys clearly shows why that was actually a good decision.

Other than that, the promise that the Terminator series has made in the three films since 1991’s Terminator II: Judgment Day is that it’s going to get stupider, more convoluted, and less entertaining. This is a cash-grab franchise that won’t die, one that keeps its commitment of diminished return.

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Screened Out – The Water Diviner

By : Stephen Miller
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Russell Crowe, Jai Courtney, Olga Kurylenko, Yılmaz Erdoğan

If there’s one thing Russell Crowe’s directorial debut proves, it’s that he knows what sort of role he should be playing – a tough hero with a heart of gold. This epic drama about WWI and its aftermath gives his quiet, tender machismo a chance to shine. It may or may mot be proof that Crowe should direct more films; his solid, understated acting saves a lot of his other missteps.

The Water Diviner is inspired by a true story. “Inspired” means the screenwriters took liberties. These all show themselves – unlikely romance, melodrama, and film cliché.

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