Don Shanahan of “Every Movie Has a Lesson” reviews “Captain America: Civil War,” “The Family Fang,” and “June Bride: Redemption of a Yakuza”



The absolute proof of the intact Marvel formula is the elevated scope and confidence given to “Captain America: Civil War.”  Spinning as a dual sequel to 2014’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and last year’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and following the darkly-operatic-yet-similarly-premised competitor “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” this film survives a few glaring imperfections and overweight ambition to maintain the Marvel flagship.  It plays it safe because it knows safe works for their brand and satisfies the masses.  They know they’re getting their cash registers out and hiring extra accountants.  To others looking for more risk, you’ve come to the wrong place.


The core of the dysfunctional family at the center of Jason Bateman’s “The Family Fang” invokes a particular curiosity.  Do weird parents raise and make weird children?  Name your odd occupation and examine that question yourself.  For example, what are the kids of two circus clown parents like?  Do they grow up with the same sense of humor or performance?  Do they relish that irregular environment because that was their preeminent example or do they rebel and long for something more typically normal?


“June Bride: Redemption of a Yakuza” presents an international alternative to the Scared Straight programs that have become a fascination here in the United States.  No, not this one (though enjoy a quick laugh), but prison initiatives like those chronicled in A&E’s popular “Beyond Scared Straight: Success Stories.  Rather than bombard subjects and audiences with fear, one man in Japan finds faith to be the greater answer.  Filmmaker Derek Shimoda’s second documentary feature begins a one-week run in Chicago on May 6, 2016 at Facets Cinémathèque located at 1517 West Fullerton Avenue.

CLICK ON THE TITLES for Don’s full reviews.  Enjoy!

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