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  • Birdman 2014

    ★★½ Watched 25 Oct, 2014

    Finally, a film with the bravery to speak up for the importance of acting. Anyway…

    Certainly a high-wire act by both the actors and the filmmakers (although the film never actually justifies A.G.I’s pseudo one-take gimmick: it seems to be there simply so people will acknowledge how very hard Iñárritu is working) but this is awfully familiar, shallow stuff. Even the film’s non-winking flights of fancy draw unflattering comparisons to BLACK SWAN, which had the good sense to undermine its…

  • John Wick 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 25 Oct, 2014

    Unlike “Space Jail," this is an Internet meme as kitschy filmmaking that I can get behind. Basically DEATH WISH if Paul Kersey was a Terminator-like, retired hitman and his family replaced by an adorable puppy. The film uses its singled-mindedness as a spine on which to hang an ever-expanding mythology of secret societies, archaic codes amongst killers and past deeds so grave nobody can bring themselves to talk about them above a whisper*. The sort of film where the first…

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  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 2014

    ★★ Watched 23 Aug, 2014 15

    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.