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.

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Only Disney and Marvel have managed to crack the cinematic universe code, but that hasn’t stopped other movie studios from trying. Just as moviegoers are showing signs of fatigue, Paramount wants to turn the Transformers series into a full-fledged cinematic universe. Universal just tried and failed to create the…

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6.5
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Oscar-winner Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball) has played superheroes before, most notably Storm in the original X-Men series and the ill-fated Catwoman spinoff, but in Kidnap, a B-level, exploitation chase thriller and

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Over eight novels stretching out across four decades and two centuries, Stephen King’s Gunslinger has pursued his arch-nemesis, the Man in Black, across not just of the fallen Mid-World, a post-apocalyptic, post-industrial wasteland, but ours (or a reasonable facsimile) too, with the fate of the multiverse, as always…

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8.5
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There’s a moment in Detroit, Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Point Break, Near Dark) and Mark Boal’s masterful, searing follow-up to 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty, where a middle-aged, African-American man clutches framed photos of his reportedly dead son, his face a mask of grief, doubt, and denial. He refuses to admit that his teenage son is dead, the …

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7.0
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To frame or not to frame: That was the question facing screenwriter Kurt Johnstad (300: Rise of an Empire, Act of Valor, 300) and stunt-coordinator-turned-director David Leitch (John Wick) faced when they decided to collaborate on Atomic Blonde, an end-of-the-Cold-War action-thriller based on Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s graphic novel,

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6.0
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You can’t argue with Luc Besson. The man knows how to spend upwards of $200 million – $209 million by one report, $225 million by another – on his latest, soon-to-be-but-maybe-not-debacle, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Besson’s big-screen adaptation of Pierre Christin Jean-Claude Mézières’…

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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
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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 …

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7.5
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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…

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