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 Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 10.43.22 AM

We can thank – or blame, depending on your perspective – the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) for Gareth Edwards’ (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) 2014 remake/reboot of Godzilla three years ago and Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) Vietnam War-era set Kong: Skull Island. Without the multi-billion dollar success of the …

NP Approved logan

All art is political, even superhero art. And there’s little doubt that Logan, the second collaboration between writer-director James Mangold (The Wolverine, 3:10 to Yuma, Night & Day, Cop Land) and star Hugh Jackman, qualifies as art, as superhero art, and as political art. Set in a possible future for the X-Men universe – both a…

Reviews Get Out

Jean-Paul Sartre was wrong. Hell isn’t other people. Hell is white people, specifically white faux-liberals, in Jordan Peele’s (Keanu, Key & Peele) writing-directing feature-length debut, Get Out, a horror-comedy mash-up of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, The Stepford Wives, and The Puppet Masters that ruthlessly satirizes the misguided…

Reviews the great wall

“Save us, Matt Damon. You’re our only hope.” That phrase or something like it uttered by a studio executive may have helped to convince the Oscar-winning, Oscar-nominated Damon to headline Zhang Yimou’s (House of Flying Daggers, Hero, The Story of Qiu Ju, Raise the Red Lantern, Red Sorghum) action-fantasy-adventure, The Great…

Reviews fist fight

Dueling, contradictory visions of masculinity, one supposedly soft, weak, and feminized (if not feminine), the other, hard, anger incarnate, violent, lie at the center of Fist Fight, a crude, vulgar, sporadically funny comedy directed by Richie Keen from a screenplay credited to Van Robichaux and Evan Susser (Robichaux and Susser share a…

Reviews John Wick

As the hope and optimism of the Obama Era gives ways to the hopelessness and pessimism of the Age of Trump, demoralizing some, but also spurring many into newfound political and social activism, escapism, regardless of shape or form, becomes all the more important, offering a bit of catharsis or emotional release when we need it…

Reviews Fifty Shades Darker

In or out of Hollywood, commerce, not art usually wins out. And with $160 million domestically and another $400 million internationally, Fifty Shades of Grey, a yawn-inducing “erotic”/BDSM drama, hit a virtual sweet spot, both for its producers looking for a return on their investment and the small army of readers who inexplicably made…

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