As I recall, there aren't any overt references to the Guardians of the Galaxy in Deadpool 2 – which is kind of astonishing given that the movie's name-dropping antihero verbally side-swipes fellow Marvel figures ranging from Wolverine to Charles Xavier to the Winter Soldier to a certain Avenger MIA from Infinity War. (After momentarily losing his powers of invincibility here, our snarky protagonist dejectedly mutters, “Just give me a bow and arrow and I'm Hawkeye.”) Yet it's nearly impossible not to be reminded of the Guardians flicks while watching director David Leitch's hyper-violent comedy sequel, because if you thought the comic-book adventures of Chris Pratt and company boasted their genre's most ridiculously entertaining song scores, you were right … until now, that is.

The aging-friends comedy Book Club stars Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen as … . I'm sorry, but does it even matter? There are precisely zero circumstances under which I, or really any longtime movie fan, wouldn't want to watch this phenomenal acting quartet together on-screen, even if their material were as insipid as Book Club's keeps threatening to be.

In Life of the Party, Melissa McCarthy plays the doting mother of a college senior who, after being dumped by her husband of 20-plus years, pursues her dream of an archeology degree by enrolling in her daughter's university. I consequently expected 90-odd minutes of campus slapstick as well-meaning, accident-prone, profoundly uncool Mom mortifies her kid in classrooms and at Greek mixers and whatnot – just like the trailers indicated, and just like in the 1986 Rodney Dangerfield hit Back to School. But amazingly, that's not what we get. It turns out that instead of comedic stakes involving a child's embarrassment, there aren't any stakes at all.

Charlize Theron is nearly always great, and few of her movies have needed her to be great quite as much as Tully, a domestic dramedy that only works – to the extent that it works at all – because of the performer's ferocious, at times truly frightening emotional commitment.

What can I say about Avengers: Infinity War? I'm genuinely asking: What, this early in the film's run, can I possibly say about Marvel's rabidly awaited comic-book adventure that wouldn't somehow be deemed a spoiler? Maybe it's best to begin gently, not by reviewing the film, but by reviewing the audience. Because even if I didn't enjoy what transpired on-screen – and I generally did, and quite a lot – the crowd reactions at my sold-out 7 p.m. IMAX screening on April 26 would've made the whole experience worthwhile.

Frequently amusing though it is, the you-go-girl comedy I Feel Pretty isn't great, but it does boast greatness in the fearless blond comedienne who makes the whole experience worthwhile. Hilarious and touching while refusing to deliver even one line in a predictable manner, this much-lauded performer, whenever she appears, turns what might've been a forgettable trifle into surprisingly resonant and satisfying entertainment. Her character also makes important points about self-image, biased expectations, and both blatant and hidden misogyny in offhanded and unexpected ways. I'm referring, of course, to Michelle Williams. But the movie's star isn't bad, either.

I suppose there have been flimsier inspirations for movies than Rampage, the 1980s arcade game that has players assume the forms of giant monsters who try to demolish entire cities before the military demolishes them. Inspirations such as, say, the Strawberry Shortcake doll, or My Little Pony. But I'll be damned if I could think of any examples while being pummeled by the thunderous stupidity and terrible jokes of the new action blockbuster Rampage, a work that somehow makes its director Brad Peyton's previous Dwayne Johnson adventure San Andreas look like the magazine-cover subject for Cahiers du Cinéma.

Isle of Dogs is Wes Anderson's stop-motion-animated tale of a 12-year-old boy's search for his missing pooch, and somehow, against all logic, it feels like one of the least precious works on its writer/director's résumé.

Friday, April 6, 10:05 a.m.-ish: Call me an optimist, or maybe just a nitwit, but I was really looking forward to starting my day with Blockers, director Kay Cannon's tale of three middle-aged parents who attempt to foil their daughters' prom-night plan to lose their collective virginity. Sure, its central conceit, as several characters here point out, was sexist, retrograde, and more than a little icky, and there was bound to be an awkward blend of slapstick and sentiment, and the previews' comedic highlight was the sight of John Cena chugging beer through his anus. Still, though: Potential belly laughs! Likable leads! John Cena chugging beer through his anus!

Adapted from Ernest Cline's famed sci-fi novel and set in the dystopian 2045 of Columbus, Ohio, Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One is about a teen gamer (Tye Sheridan's Wade Watts) who, like millions of others, enters a worldwide virtual-reality competition intent on finding a hidden Easter Egg that will reap him untold fortune. This is no knock against Spielberg's generally exhilarating, occasionally frustrating, frequently jaw-dropping entertainment, but considering the film runs 140 minutes, I'm rather astounded that the kid didn't find the thing within the movie's first seconds. Because good God is this thing lousy with Easter Eggs.

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