Posts tagged Rose Byrne
MOVIE REVIEW: X-Men: Apocalypse

After two movies of turn-back-the-clock course correction, it is fair to rank the "X-Men" series right next to "The Fast and Furious" as a film franchise that was derailed, left for dead, and since rescued with a filmmaking resurgence.  "X-Men: First Class" introduced new youthful vigor and was followed by the return of original franchise steward Bryan Singer for the slate-wiping "X-Men: Days of Future Past."  The latter film grossed more than double any of its franchise predecessors and enabled the series to pass the torch from the seniors to the juniors.  Flush with success, good graces, and a new lease on life, "X-Men: Apocalypse" arrives with the goal to top everything that's been done in 20th Century Fox's offshoot shingle of a Marvel universe.  

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In her two films since "Tammy," Melissa McCarthy has done both.  Going against her bread-and-butter zaniness, playing it straight for a change in last fall's superb Bill Murray vehicle "St. Vincent" was the first step.  The new summer spoof comedy "Spy" is the next step, thanks to McCarthy returning as the go-to muse for her "Bridesmaids" writer/director Paul Feig.  With Feig and a stellar cast, "Spy" is clearly better company, but it's not a tremendous step up in material or acting for our star.  "Spy" feels like one of those movies that is funny the first time and lasts for that one dose, but won't be something you'll revisit and likely something you'll regret you really liked five or ten years down the road.  It is worth your Redbox rental, but not all that much more.

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That said, the peak occupied by any R-rated comedy isn’t very high and far from snow-capped among the clouds of cinema greatness.  Rarely do movies like “Neighbors” create any watershed or bedrock.  In terms of peaks and heights, let’s go ahead and just call “Neighbors” your new favorite sledding hill or deluxe tree house.  Besides, that’s not the “high” this film is looking for anyway, if you get my drift.  The target is decidedly, and rightfully, low-brow.

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