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  • Phantoms 1998

    ★★½ Rewatched 02 Mar, 2015

    Based on Dean Koontz's novel of the same name, Joe Chappelle's "Phantoms" is a watchable, if too typical, late 1990s horror film. Peopled with a handsome cast of then-up-an-comers, the thriller is a slick blend of jump scares and jolts. Though its narrative and production never push the film to enjoyable heights, "Phantoms" is a mostly solid genre entry.

    Taking place in a small mountain town where something is obviously afoot, the plot of "Phantoms" combines town-with-a-secret, mystery, and invading-evil…

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 2002

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 01 Mar, 2015 7

    An unrivaled masterpiece of fantasy filmmaking, Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" not only betters its excellent predecessor, but it expands the possibilities of its genre. It is an outstanding achievement that thrusts its audience headlong into a continuing adventure, introduces remarkable new characters, and cements Jackson's reputation as a visionary with the talent to bring to life J.R.R. Tolkien's already reputable vision.

    "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" begins with a brief flashback,…

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  • Inception 2010

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 08 Jul, 2012 31

    "Inception," at its most basic, is two things. It is a heist film dressed in science fiction conventions; and it is a study of a man trying to free himself from a near-suffocating past. "Inception," at its more complex, is a cerebral pop-masterpiece. It is an enthralling combination of thought-provoking, layered story-telling and sumptuous aesthetics enhanced by near-flawless editing, sound design, effects, and musical score. Driven by a pitch-perfect cast and the confident directorial hand of Christopher Nolan, "Inception" is a brilliant and unrivaled piece of filmmaking.

  • Punch-Drunk Love 2002

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 09 Dec, 2014 12

    Anxiety. Sadness. Anger. Loneliness. Longing. Rage. Whimsy. Exuberance. Love. In the space of 90 or so minutes, Paul Thomas Anderson's serio-comic drama observes all of these moods, emotions, and movements. Like an allegory of the mind and heart, Anderson's put-upon everyman communicates these shades while the film captures life's mental, emotional journey though the narrative lens of a single character and the stylistic canvas of a remarkable film.

    On the surface, "Punch-Drunk Love" is about a business man whose life…