70-Word Review of “Avatar: The Way of Water”

The one-bullet-for-one-settler third act was impressive, but there was little new here. James Cameron, who has now shut everyone up forever, is over-emphasizing sensory immersion and love of environmentalism at the expense of story innovation. (The exception is his well-delineated complexity of one character’s insider-outsider strategy.) The political has to compete with the personal. This reviewer will probably skip the bathroom break and sit out on Nos. 3 through 5.

55-Word Review of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” [SPOILER-FREE]

The nuclear family blows up

A memorial interrupted by a war film. Whether this is an epic will depend on how it fades into (Marvel) film history. If it’s not, it’s not because of a lack of trying by writer-director Ryan Coogler and co-writer Joe Robert Cole. Marvel’s ability to acknowledge fans and critics simultaneously is quite extraordinary and remarkable. #BlackPantherWakandaForever