Daniel Nava opens July to review “City of Ghosts,” “Wish Upon,” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming” on Chicago Cinema Circuit

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CITY OF GHOSTS

Tuxedoed journalists of the New York variety shuffle along the red carpet of the annual International Press Freedom Awards in the Grand Hyatt. The black tie event hardly seems like the appropriate venue to celebrate the accomplishments of the RBSS (Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently), a group of Syrian citizen-journalists whose concentrated efforts exposed the imminent threat that ISIS presented not only to Syria, but the world. And so Matthew Heineman begins City of Ghosts with a measure of sardonic humor as the RBSS’ guerrilla activism is recognized within the hushed confines of a posh dinner gala. Revolutions, as they were, are of a peculiar breed.

WISH UPON

Exhibit B to Ry Russo-Young’s Exhibit A, John R. Leonetti’s Wish Upon serves 2017 with its seasonal reminder on why teenagers are the absolute worse. Here’s a film littered with an endless parade of detestable young people, each more abusive, cynical, and vengeful than the last. And with Leonetti we have a formally impoverished filmmaker who shares our disinterest in these characters as he invites you to conjure hapless ways for them to be punished. For admirers of the Final Destination series, where quote unquote tension is strictly derived from experiencing an elaborate series of misfortunes before someone is given the greenlight to die, Wish Upon should suffice. For others, Wish Upon’s shoddy humanism just withers the soul and chips away at good taste.

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

It is my assigned function to review the Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures’ motion picture Spider-Man: Homecoming. If subsidiary companies putting aside bureaucratic red tape in a joint effort to bring you committee-produced and screen-tested to oblivion adverts sounds compelling then Spider-Man: Homecoming ought to be right up your alley. That preceding sentence is unfortunately this review’s singular upshot, as what follows is Chapter XI, Section 2, Article 3 of my ongoing series on why the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the absolute worst.

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