Mel Valentin
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Mel Valentin

Mel Valentin hails from the great state of New Jersey. After attending NYU undergrad (politics and economics major, religious studies minor) and grad school (law), he decided a transcontinental move to California, specifically San Francisco, was in order. Since Mel began writing nine years ago, he's written more than 1,600 film-related reviews and articles. He's a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Online Film Critics Society.

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  Three years too late. That’s the first – and most likely last – thought that comes to mind when news leaked that one-time mobile game app champion, “Angry Birds,” would receive the big-screen, animation treatment (otherwise known as corporate brand extension). Half a decade ago, Angry Birds could be found on

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  In Money Monster, Jodie Foster’s (Home for the Holidays, Little Man Tate) first film since The Beaver, a poorly received comedy-drama that had the ill-timed misfortune of a free-falling Mel Gibson in the lead, Lee Gates (George Clooney), an amoral, super-slick, Larry Cramer-inspired huckster with a five megawatt smile and

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  Jeff Nichols’ (Mud, Take Shelter, Shotgun Stories) fourth feature-length film, Midnight Special, could have been easily retitled “The Young Messiah Chronicles,” “The Adventures of the Young Messiah,” or “The Young Messiah and the Journey to Wonderland” (the sequel title already comes pre-made, “The Young Messiah and the Wizard of

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  It seemed like a brilliant idea at the time: Out Marvel-Marvel, skip standalone superhero intros and go straight to the main event, bringing DC’s two biggest, most iconic, oldest superheroes, Batman and Superman, together to do what every schoolboy and schoolgirl imagined when their favorite superheroes appears on the same comic-book

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Even though all the available evidence suggests that the once-lucrative, dystopian YA adaptation trend has run its course, the producers behind the Divergent series would beg to differ. Given its derivative, original plot and logic-challenged world building, Veronica Roth’s YA series didn’t exactly merit big-screen adaptations, but here we are, three films

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  Not content to helm the highest-grossing film of all time (not adjusted for inflation), JJ Abrams is back just three months after the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as the producer behind 10 Cloverfield Lane, the latest feature-length film to emerge from Abrams’ seemingly inexhaustible “mystery box” (a

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  “Same sh*te, different country” basically sums up London Has Fallen, the much unanticipated sequel to 2013’s semi-surprise hit, Olympus Has Fallen. A xenophobic, ultra-right-wing reactionary’s wet dream, Olympus Has Fallen featured Gerard Butler as a Secret Service agent who saves the U.S. president, the country, and even the day

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  There’s more than enough sound and fury in John Hillcoat’s (Lawless, The Road, The Proposition) fourth film, Triple 9, an Atlanta-set bad cop urban actioner, to fill three or four sub-mediocre, straight-to-VOD bad cop/crime thrillers. It’s also the perfect example of “checklist screenwriting” (bad cop edition) this year, from

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  Writer-director Robert Eggers‘ profoundly gripping, remarkably assured feature-length debut, The Witch: A New England Folktale, opens with the expulsion of a family of seven from a New England Puritan settlement, circa 1630, six decades before the infamous Salem witch trials became synonymous with repressive, superstition-fueled paranoia, religious fanaticism, and unjust

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  Let’s give credit where where credit is due: The anonymous team behind the genius-level marketing campaign for Deadpool, the latest C- or D-level Marvel Comics superhero to get his or her own (the “her” is still somewhere in the near/distant future) first film in a potential franchise, deserves all

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  When Ben Stiller decided – and the Powers-That-Be, against their collective best interest, agreed – to make a totally unnecessary, completely redundant sequel to the 2001 semi-cult hit, Zoolander, no on was clamoring to see, hear, or otherwise experience, he forgot to add a crucial ingredient: Bring the funny

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  If the phrase “Too soon, too soon,” has a corollary, it’s, of course, the opposite: “Too late, too late,” four words that aptly, succinctly describe Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, the too-long-in-the-making, once-anticipated, now yawn-inducing adaptation of Seth Graham-Smith’s (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) Jane Austen mash-up of the same

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  Leonardo DiCaprio may not have suffered for our sins, let alone died for them (on screen), but he’s certainly done both or nearly both (again on screen) to acquire the most coveted of coveted acting trophies, the Academy Award for Best Actor, an award that’s eluded him for the

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  We hold these truths to be self-evident; that Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds, Death Proof, Kill Bill Vol. I-II, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs) is a singularly talented filmmaker; that his films represent, sometimes paradoxically, the best and the worst in post-modern remix culture; that Tarantino is simultaneously the

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  Ron Howard just might be the most commercially successful actor-turned-director. His longevity is practically second to none, moving from child star in the ’60s, teen star in the ’70s, and finally a Hollywood director from mid-’80s through the present, winning an Academy Award for Best Director more than a

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creed
Movies

CREED: Exactly the kind of overwhelming underdog moviegoers repeatedly embrace.

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