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  • The Loft

    The Loft 2014

    Watched 27 Sep, 2015

    There's a universe where Paul Verhoeven made this film and it's probably great instead of boring and insulting.

  • Tomorrowland

    Tomorrowland 2015

    Watched 24 Sep, 2015

    Very much a textbook example of why you should never write theme first before all else. The script here is practically indefensible. I was actually really enjoying the film for a while until I looked at the timer, saw an hour had passed, an hour was left, and practically nothing had been set up. Bird's direction here is certainly great, its commitment to a gee golly whiz tone is certainly refreshing in a summer where the tone has pretty much…

  • What We Do in the Shadows

    What We Do in the Shadows 2014

    Watched 23 Sep, 2015

    Utterly formless, but when I'm laughing as hard I did here, does that really matter? I appreciate how specific the humor is here, never really going for anything broad, which made the jokes far funnier. There's tons of visual gags here too, my favorite being the whip pan to Stu seemingly dancing alone in the mirror. Petyr is also the silent scene thief, which makes it only more depressing when the film eventually forgets him for the finale.

  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

    Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 2015

    Watched 21 Sep, 2015 13

    This is the most Sundancecore film ever made, and it will probably remain that way until the end of time. It was always an inevitability we'd end up with a film like this seeing as the festival has been entertaining prepackaged check marked boxes for the past several years rather than entertaining the audience with new and unique independent voices. Everything about Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is designed so that it might win the coveted Audience Award,…

  • '71

    '71 2014

    Watched 21 Sep, 2015

    So committed to its action thriller aesthetics that it might as well have the tagline: "Jack O'Connell has found himself in a bit of Troubles".

    I'd enjoy this more if it could pick whether it wanted to be apolitical or just a pure genre exercise using the backdrop. It's clear the filmmakers want something in the former, but the dedication to the latter ends up negating that.

  • Love & Mercy

    Love & Mercy 2015

    Watched 20 Sep, 2015

    It's just short of being a truly great film, but damn it, it's nice to watch a biopic actually interested not just in its subject but also saying something. There are no by the numbers scenes in this film, simply the story as it happened, with Wilson's younger days portrayed as mournful tragedy, and the older Wilson a romance about a man finding his autonomy again and still seeking the comfort of another person (that final scene, wow). Every minute of this film is warm and empathetic and I'll take it every single chance that I can get it in a biopic.

  • Goldfinger

    Goldfinger 1964

    Rewatched 17 Sep, 2015

    If From Russia With Love is the best Book Bond movie, this is the best Movie Bond movie. This movie is so iconic it has an iconic film moment about every 3 minutes. It also features a few bests, particularly in Connery's performance.

  • Insurgent

    Insurgent 2015

    Watched 13 Sep, 2015

    Simply because this is no longer a 2 hour training montage and has some actual resemblance of a plot, Insurgent is an improvement on the first film in that it's at least vaguely entertaining. The world still makes absolutely no sense and I don't care about the outcome of this, but it was shorter, and things actually happened in it, so, good job, I guess.

  • Divergent

    Divergent 2014

    Watched 12 Sep, 2015

    There's an interesting thematic core hiding in this premise about the way society romanticizes certain values to the many kinds of jobs out there, but of course because this is Young Adult fiction, it completely ignores that in favor of the usual simplistic moral platitudes.

    Which would be completely fine if this were even remotely entertaining, but Divergent is pretty much a 2 hour training movie before the obligatory final half hour that sets up the sequel. It should be noted that I'm an absolute slut for movies/scenes that involve people being trained, but even this tested my patience.

  • Mistress America

    Mistress America 2015

    Watched 10 Sep, 2015 1

    Someone check the temperature down in hell, because I actually kind of loved a Noah Baumbach movie.

    Proving that what I liked about While We're Young wasn't a fluke, Baumbach has finally learned how to balance detestable characters with likable comic charm. It's almost as if he's finally turned into the self reflexive filmmaker he's needed to be since the beginning. Gone is the narcissism, and in comes genuine insight. People have been down on the final 20-30 minutes of…

  • Cinderella

    Cinderella 2015

    Watched 09 Sep, 2015

    It might be boringly traditional, but I'll take the innocuous pleasures of Branagh's Cinderella over the dreadful incoherence of a fantasy revisionist film like Maleficent. For whatever my problems with this film are (Hayley Atwell should be Cinderella, for one), there's more magic in that ballroom dance than there's been in a Disney film for ages now.

  • Jauja

    Jauja 2014

    Watched 09 Sep, 2015

    More flattery towards Ford and Tarkovsky* than anything that feel legitimately of its own, but every now and then it hits its own absurdist groove, and the fact that it's pretty gorgeous doesn't hurt.

    * Everyone's already noted those two influences, but I also found a bit of Bunuel in it, particularly in the ending.