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.


If Wish Upon (A Star), the latest attempt at horror counter-programming during a typical summer crammed with sequels, prequels, and remakes, has anything to offer, it’s not in the scares, shocks, or jumps department (they’re few and far between). It’s also not in a stale, clichéd premise (seven wishes, “be careful…

NP Approved Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 11.56.32 AM

After failing to get moviegoers behind Tim Burton’s 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes, 20th Century Fox faced a dilemma: Put the Planet of the Apes series into cold storage for the foreseeable future and try again later or ignore the negative reactions and move forward with another sequel. The decision to reboot (again) proved to be one of the …

Reviews beguiled

In Sofia Coppola’s (The Bling Ring, Somewhere, Marie Antoinette, Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides) Palme d’Or’ winning sixth film – not counting 2015’s made-for-Netflix A Very Murray Christmas – The Beguiled, the second adaptation of Thomas P. Cullinan’s 1966 novel (the first, released in 1971, starred a Don…

Reviews baby driver

In an alternate universe, Edgar Wright (The Cornetto Trilogy, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Spaced) would have directed Ant-Man, Ant-Man would have become an even bigger commercial and critical hit than it was two years ago, and Wright would have moved on bigger and better projects with even more creative control, in…

Reviews despicable me 3

It’s usually a sign of desperation, creative bankruptcy, or likely both to introduce a long-lost, hitherto unknown sibling or relative into an ongoing series or franchise. It’s an old soap-opera gimmick, but it made the jump to the big screen more than twenty-five years ago when Star Trek: The Final Frontier, easily the worst of the…

Reviews rough night

Don’t expect anything remotely subversive with Rough Night, a mash-up of Weekend at Bernie’s, Very Bad Things, The Hangover, and Bridesmaids. Instead, expect an edge-free, surface-deep, faux-raunchfest that too often misses the mark humor and drama wise. Directed and co-written by Lucia Aniello (Time Traveling Bong, Broad City), making her…

Reviews cars 3

It’s been six, not-so-long years since Pixar’s second-to-last major misstep (The Last Dinosaur gets the most recent nod), Cars 2, arrived in multiplexes to thrill and entertain moviegoers, albeit with an ulterior intention foremost in Pixar’s collective minds: Sell more Cars-related merchandise. Between Cars in 2006 and Cars 2…

Reviews it comes at night

“Hell is other people,” Jean-Paul Sartre once said. Little did he know, but Sartre’s phrase applies to the horror genre too. In horror, the monsters are often supernatural or otherworldly, but the real monsters don’t wear hockey masks or carry machetes, they look like us, sound like us, and often feel like us, except they’re willing to take a life, out of …

1 2 3 4 31