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  • Blackhat 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 17 Jan, 2015

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    First time I’ve enjoyed a Mann film in more than a decade even if it’s almost entirely on a dopey, formalist level. Mann’s move to digital, which has generated hyperbolic overreaction on both sides of the ledger (and I’m on the side that thinks it looks like gasoline thrown in my eyes) finally worked for me here; it’s all far flung locations, deep focus night shots and streaky neon, reminding me of Deakins work in SKYFALL as much as Wong…

  • The Theory of Everything 2014

    ★★ Watched 10 Jan, 2015

    Like THE IMITATION GAME only more so. Recognizes that a biopic whose target audience could charitably be described as “my mom and her friends” isn't the best place to engage in hard science but even with that caveat, the absence of a DIVING BELL & THE BUTTERFLY-style internal life or rigorous subjectivity means we’re left with not much beyond doting devotion in the face of a horrible disability. Marsh sands down any rough edges, filming the domestic scenes with an orange…

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  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 2014

    ★★ Watched 23 Aug, 2014 18

    When I was a little kid, growing up solidly middle class, I had a lot of toys. But my parents, mindful of the expanding clutter that comes from the accumulation of “stuff,” presented me with an ultimatum: if I went long enough without playing with my toys then I’d have to get rid of them before I could get any new ones. They didn’t care what I did with them: throw them out, sell them at a yard sale, give…

  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

    ★★½ Watched 02 Aug, 2014 2

    Oh good: I was worried this wouldn't have a scene where a large air ship crashes into a major, metropolitan city.