marvel

spider-man: homecoming

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT’S SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING ABOUT? With the blessing of Tony Stark (Iron Man), Peter Parker tries to prove himself a hero while juggling a social and academic life. (Pre-order it here and get the previous five Spidey films here). IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A) One would think rebooting Spider-Man for the third time in 15 years would lead to a stale, ...[Read More]

guardians of the galaxy

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT’S GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 ABOUT? Marvel’s intergalactic antiheroes battle new enemies (and old) when a being (Kurt Russell) introduces himself as Peter’s father. (PRE-ORDER IT HERE AND BUY THE ORIGINAL FROM OUR STORE) IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A-) Everything a sequel should be, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 builds on n ...[Read More]

spider-man

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Family Movie Review

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN REVIEW (GRADE: B+) A more dramatically mature take on the character than the bubblegum fun of Sam Raimi’s trilogy, The Amazing Spider-Man will appeal more to teens and adults, despite targeting merchandise at children. This is due largely to Marc Webb’s less fanciful direction and the performances he gets from his actors. Andrew Garfield is much less of a sweet-h ...[Read More]

spider-man

SPIDER-MAN Revisited: The Original Trilogy

With the franchise reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man, getting good buzz and arriving in theaters next week, I thought it time to take a retrospective look at Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, which arguably kicked the current superhero craze into high gear. While it’s true that Bryan Singer’s X-Men (2000) got the ball rolling, it was the enormous popularity of Spider-Man ten years ago ...[Read More]

avengers

THE AVENGERS Family Movie Review

Review (Grade: A) The most impressive superhero film since The Dark Knight, Marvel Studios’ The Avengers is a funny, thrilling, and character-driven crowd pleaser. Seeing the five films that preceded this one (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor,and Captain America) may enrich the experience, but it’s hardly necessary; the film stands well on its own for those who want to just jump in ...[Read More]

CAPTAIN AMERICA Family Movie Review

CAPTAIN AMERICA Family Movie Review

REVIEW (GRADE: B) : As a superhero-origin movie, Captain America lays out cliche after cliche, following the template of numerous films that have come before it. As a patriotic crowd pleaser, however, it offers plenty of old-fashioned delights. I have to borrow what another reviewer said here, because he summed it up perfectly: “If you’ve got a problem with any of the plot points in Captain ...[Read More]

x-men: first class

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker X-MEN FIRST CLASS REVIEW (GRADE B+): After the sloppy and empty-headed X-Men Origins: Wolverine, this prequel gets the franchise back on track with style and smarts. In fact, I’d say that it’s the second-best film in the series, behind only the exemplary X2: X-Men United (unlike many people, I like the first and third films about the same, finding both to be flawed b ...[Read More]

thor

THOR Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) REVIEW (GRADE: B+) Rent or buy Thor here.  Though I’ve been into superhero movies since I was a boy, I was never a comic-book guy. Knowing nothing of Thor’s story except that he was literally the god of thunder from Viking mythology, all I had to go on was glimpses I’d seen of his costume. I repeatedly thought: He looks ridiculou ...[Read More]

iron man 2 family movie review

IRON MAN 2 Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) Robert Downey Jr. reprises his star-making role from the first film, as a charmingly egotistical, but ultimately courageous superhero. The film has a terrific cast, some clever banter, and a handful of genuinely thrilling action sequences, but the story isn’t as focused or compelling as that of the first film. It feels as if the filmmakers are try ...[Read More]

wolverine

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) Meh. I know my sisters loved it, so I won’t bad mouth it too much here, but the whole thing felt undercooked to me; plus, the inconsistency of Sabretooth being Wolverine’s intelligent brother, compared with the radically different conceptualization of the character in the first film of this same series, was jarring for me. It opens wel ...[Read More]