Author Mel Valentin

Mel Valentin hails from the great state of New Jersey. After attending New York University as an undergrad (politics and economics double major, religious studies minor) and grad school (law), he relocated from the East Coast to San Francisco, California, where he's been ever since. Since Mel began writing about film nine years ago, he's written more than 1,600 reviews and articles. He's a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Online Film Critics Society.

Reviews alien covenan
5.5
0

In the era of franchise filmmaking and shared universes, the end is never really the end. It’s a new beginning, a new beginning involving prequels, sequels to the prequels, spin-offs, and after a franchise has run aground on the infertile shores of creative bankruptcy, an inevitable reboot to restart the cycle all over again. We haven’t…

Reviews King Arthur
6.5
0

After King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Guy Ritchie’s latest attempt, doomed to kickstart another franchise (see, e.g., Sherlock Holmes, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), it might be time to retire the “Chosen One”/Hero’s Journey formula once and for all. Hollywood won’t, of course, not as long as moviegoers are…

Reviews snatched
5.0
0

Don’t expect cultural sensitivity or the equivalent thereof from Snatched, Amy Schumer’s disappointing follow-up to Trainwreck, a critical and box-office hit just two years ago. Centered on two American women kidnapped and held for ransom in Colombia, Snatched does little to counter recurring concerns about…

Reviews Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 11.04.39 AM
8.0
0

If the Fast & the Furious franchise has taught us anything – and arguably, it’s taught us a great deal in the life-lesson department – it’s that “family” comes first, second, and last. Anyone who doesn’t learn that lesson will be forced to relearn it in a seemingly never-ending series. Of course, super-cool cars, CGI-aided stunts, collisions, and crashes, all …

Reviews the promise
6.5
0

The “promise” in The Promise, an unengaging, dull Doctor Zhivago meets Titanic retread starring Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale, and Charlotte Le Bon as the three sides of an uninteresting romantic triangle set against the Armenian genocide perpetuated by the collapsing Ottoman Empire during the First World War, isn’t a promise…

Reviews unforgettable
5.0
0

We can call off the search party for Katherine Heigl’s career (We found Zach Braff’s just two weeks ago, directing the already forgotten Going in Style remake). A solid start on TV (Grey’s Anatomy), a big box-office win (Knocked Up), followed by a series of increasingly dire, desperate rom-coms and two back-to-back failed TV…

Reviews Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 1.18.49 PM
7.5
0

Not all superheroes wear capes, cowls, or even spandex. Some superheroes wear sleeveless tees, shave their heads, and drive muscle cars into gravity- and logic-defying leaps of faith over and across a moving submarine. That ridiculous money shot, of course, comes courtesy of director F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job, The Negotiator, Set It Off, Friday) …

Reviews gifted
6.5
0

We might not have hit peak superhero yet – and at this rate, it probably won’t happen for another half-decade – but that doesn’t mean we can’t venture into multiplexes this weekend for another kind of heroism, the kind minus “super” in the description, but the kind of heroism that still features a familiar…

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