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  • Gravity 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 06 Oct, 2013

    In 1968, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey achieved at least two important things: first, it offered for its time a mesmerizing vision through its carefully- constructed verisimilitude of humans working, living and tunnelling (or tripping) through the infinities of space and its mysteries. Secondly, and more importantly, it was and continues to be a message sent out to future generations of an unparalleled cinematic representation of what it must have been like to stand in awe of that moment…

  • Drive 2011

    ★★½ Rewatched 24 Feb, 2012

    Um, yeah, "Drive" really isn't for me... I dont care that it is going after the style and feel of films like Michael Mann's "Thief" or that Gosling harnesses Steve McQueen's cool in "Bullitt"... Everything about this just feels so fucking off... The obtrusive soundtrack, the awkward silences between Driver and Irene, Driver's incessant mumbling- it is all too achingly self aware and that affected my engagement negatively with this film. None of it feels like any fun and you…

  • The Dark Knight Rises 2012

    ★★★★★ Watched 21 Jul, 2012

    The Dark Knight Rises represents an ambitious, sometimes muddled but completely engaging cinematic entertainment that not only helps to flesh out the mythology and philosophy of the trilogy but also stands on its own as a muscular, stakes-driven war film whose spectacle does not compromise on the pathos of its characters and universe.

    I think the thing I like the most about the film was the fact that while watching it I felt like there was a feeling of purpose…

  • The Dark Knight 2008

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 20 Jul, 2012

    This ambitious film represents for me a perfect storm of certain elements coming together:
    1) Wally Pfister's cinematography: the widescreen formatting and the use of the IMAX camera creates a new sense of cinematic engagement on the big screen- Gotham feels tangible and the action feels epic.

    2) It's an entertaining pop culture study into the psychology of evil: The construction of the Joker character is a revelation- the writers had the good sense to jettison a pathetic backstory for…

  • Silver Linings Playbook 2012

    ★★★ Rewatched 12 May, 2013

    I still don't buy the ending of this film for one minute but the performances and general feel of the story pull me through before that cliched, lazy storybook ending....

  • Silver Linings Playbook 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 16 Sep, 2012 8

    Fun, energetic comedy- features another strong performance from Jennifer Lawrence who knows how to bring the quirky and mad brand of comedy to relationships and family situations that Russell is known for- Recommended.

  • Skyfall 2012

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 24 Nov, 2012

    Yes! Saw it for the third time last night. Skyfall is my favorite franchise film of 2012 so far- first Bond film that is beautiful and feels like a real artistic exercise despite its pulpy spy story origins. DP Roger Deakins continues to produce amazing work with this film, making it easily the most visually sumptuous Bond film ever. It isn't perfect though- the derivative pulling of story/tonal elements were a bit distracting while watching it but I give it…

  • Moonrise Kingdom 2012

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 27 Dec, 2012

    Grew for me hugely on re-watch- easily the best bit of cinematic whimsy built from the ground up this year- loved it.

  • Looper 2012

    ★★★★★ Watched 28 Sep, 2012

    Wildly kinetic with a nicely structured graphic novel feel that pulls at the strings of source material like Akira and even films like Witness- this world feels so impeccably realized in its logic and determination- a first rate bit of thriller-driven cinematic entertainment in terms of its story telling and craft. Also features the third great JGL MVP performance this year. Looking forward to talking this up more on the podcast....

  • The Cabin in the Woods 2012

    ★★★★½ Watched 12 Apr, 2012 2

    Mild spoilers: Aside from just being a whole hell of a lot of fun to watch, "The Cabin in the Woods" makes a pretty cogent argument that there are still areas of metanarrative and mythology to explore and mine creatively in the horror genre. While the Scream film franchise of the late 90s, 2000s, and even 2010s concerned itself with the the "HOW?", or the mechanics underlying the traditions and evolution of slasher film franchises (aka The Rules).  Goddard and…

  • Star Trek Into Darkness 2013

    ★★★★ Rewatched 19 May, 2013

    Star Trek: Into darkness in the end felt a lot like the 2009 reboot to me: a slick and confident example of 21st century filmmaking tasked with simulating a piece of pop culture entertainment that does not easily bend to the will of the flashy adrenaline spectacle of what is now the modern summer blockbuster. The mid 20th century optimism and focus on civil rights that first provided a lens for Gene Roddenberry's utopian idealism of the original series and…

  • Man of Steel 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 15 Jun, 2013

    Sad face. I'm definitely conflicted about most of what this film is. Ultimately I wanted this to be something unique that stood on its own and was more than the sum of its parts that had something to say, that maybe even started a new cultural conversation on the Superman myth but it never really got there for me. I think this is mostly because it relies on a lot of the conventions of blockbuster filmmaking without creating ANY of…