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Review: 12 Strong

It’s Thor! As a soldier! On a horse! That got my attention. And it helped hold my attention while 12 Strong delivered some fairly standard war drama stuff. It’s a middle of the road war movie with a western vibe that draws its strength from the fact that it’s based on a wild declassified true story revealed in the 2009 book, “Horse Soldiers” by Doug Stanton.

The Martian

Finally! A movie I can recommend to just about anyone. The Martian has soared to the top of my (extremely short) ‘what’s out there right now that you really should see on the big screen’ list. It’s smart, entertaining, uplifting and remarkably accessible to mainstream as well as geeky-fringe audiences. Seriously, this movie has it all: it’s visually immersive, the stakes are palpable, and despite the science-fiction nature of the plot, the characters are relatable and – certainly in the case of botanist-astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) – worth busting NASA’s budget to save!

Ant-Man

Ant-Man is Iron Man light. Right down to the teeny tiny suit. And since I’m a huge fan of Iron Man (due mostly to Robert Downey Jr.), I couldn’t help but like Ant-Man. It’s rather weak on the grand scale of Marvel comic superhero movies (i.e. those featuring the various “Avengers” including Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, etc.) but Paul Rudd is still fun to watch as Scott Lang, a smart, sarcastic and kind-hearted master thief looking for redemption.

Turbo

Gotta love a good underdog movie, especially when the underdog is a snail. Sure, Turbo is predictable and formulaic, but it’s also cute and sweet and fun, with a winning message: No dream is too big. No dreamer, too small. Aw shucks. What can I say? Turbo is a solid entry in the animated field of kid-friendly flicks for summer. Just ask our Special Guest Chicklet, 10-year-old Raquel Sklar. Here’s her two cents:

Tower Heist

The trailer for Tower Heist makes it look like an Oceans Eleven-esque comedy ensemble thievery pic. And guess what? That’s exactly what it is, only not as good. On the Oceans scale, I’d give it a six and a half.