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  • 12 Years a Slave 2013

    ★★ Watched 25 Jan, 2014

    A lot of pulled punches.

  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit 2014

    ★★★ Watched 23 Jan, 2014

    Enough verve and interest on the sidelines—the call to action contextualized under the weight of 9/11 and the threat of imminent economic collapse—to outweigh the pedestrian spine; Pine is uninteresting and wholly unbelievable as a Ph.D. candidate, i.e., the most compelling part of his character. Better than Thor (I didn't see its sequel), doesn't take its plot too seriously and its portrayal of violence is surprisingly thoughtful, reminiscent of a post-Casino Royale (2006) kind of actioner. Genuinely strange aesthetic choices (patient, angle-y hotel balcony scene upon first arrival in Moscow is groovy) push the film toward a soft [pro/C+].

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  • Passion 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 22 Jun, 2013

    key to the film (from De Palma's Slant interview): "The very act of seeing has become very strange with all this now easily available technology, and I try to reflect that on the screen."