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  • Waiting for Superman 2010

    ★★ Watched 27 Nov, 2014

    Eye opening but not particularly engaging.

  • Happy Christmas 2014

    ★★★ Watched 26 Nov, 2014

    On Netflix. Kendrick plays the least intelligent character she's ever played. Dunham, Lynskey et al all are fine as well. However Happy Christmas ends right at the moment it feels like it's really taking off. An OK watch but incomplete.

  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 21 Nov, 2014

    If you didn't like at least one of the previous films, don't even bother. Mockingjay Pt 1 is not a standalone, and it doesn't have an ending, so there's nothing here for you.

    What it does have is a fantastic score, a typically great lead performance from J-Law, and superb direction from F-Law (COINED), who creates a lot of tension and intrigue with material that is quite low on action and quite high on talking heads planning and generally looking…

  • Get Over It 2001

    ★★ Watched 20 Nov, 2014

    Opening lip sync scene: "Hey, this actually might be pretty good!"
    And then the rest of the movie happens, and it's very 90s even though its early 00s, and there's plenty of good actors in their youth (Foster, Saldana, Kunis), but meh.

  • Bandslam 2009

    ★★★½ Watched 18 Nov, 2014

    A perpetual resident of dollar bins, I had heard this was good years ago and that it was the victim of a poor marketing campaign which Disneyfied more mature content. This reputation turns out to be mostly true. Mostly. Your battle of the bands storyline inherently skews very teen movie/low stakes, however there's a lot of care and investment into the characters, neither Nickelodeon wacky, nor the Sundance-y treatment of teen angst we're used to. Instead it plays like decent…

  • The Tree of Life 2011

    ★★ Rewatched 15 Nov, 2014

    Based on the 17 hour animated tone poem "Song of the Loon" by Shirley McLoon (starts 3:45)

    I do not like Terrence Malick. I do not necessarily HATE Terrence, however I would argue that this film would be improved by replacing all voiceover narration with fart noises.

  • Interstellar 2014

    ★★½ Watched 11 Nov, 2014

    A "when are they gonna get to the fireworks factory" movie if there ever was one, rather tedious and unentertaining for long stretches, relying on an emotional bond to carry the film that is just out of reach. An imperfect dock, if you will.

    There are a number of great scenes in the film, but no great performances, not much to want to revisit, and ultimately a lot less to chew on than I would have expected. The final act's…

  • Big Hero 6 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 11 Nov, 2014

    Disney's recent outings have been arguably better than their last handful of Pixar efforts, and Big Hero 6 continues that streak, even if it lacks Pixar's stylistic sophistication. The story isn't particuarly innovative. It's another Dragon/Iron Giant relationship, with some Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy in there for good measure. Baymax is a pretty easy character to get attached to, fully realized in heart and humor. Everything else is a familiar trope, but at the end of the day this is a strong piece of popcorn animated entertainment.

  • St. Vincent 2014

    ★½ Watched 09 Nov, 2014

    There's not a lot of fanfare out there for this film, but a lot for Bill Murrray's performance, which is pretty much the only reason to sit through this dreadful, cliched rehash of the old grump/impressionable kid dynamic that we've seen in everything from Bad Santa to Gran Torino to Modern Family.

    Getting more grating as it goes on, this nakedly sentimental film is just not funny, and wastes the talent of pretty much everyone aside from Murray. Avoid.

  • Nightcrawler 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 08 Nov, 2014

    A career best performance from Gyllenhaal as pretty much the horrifying embodiment of Ayn Rand's philosophy.

    I was a bit wary going in because of comparisons to Drive, but to me Nightcrawler is more like Taxi Driver combined with Broadcast News and The King of Comedy, with the writing and performance well aware of the lead being an ambitious, slightly autistic, mostly sociopathic worm rather than a sexy, vapid superhero.

  • The One I Love 2014

    ★★★ Watched 07 Nov, 2014

    The general hype around this movie is "Whoa, that was so weird! Go in cold!". Well, i did. On the same night that I rewatched Birdman, and immediately after watching Too Many Cooks.

    So you'll forgive me for thinking this wasn't nearly as weird as I could have hoped. The One I Love's Twilight Zoney concept is indeed worth preserving for the sake of surprise, but I can't help but be a little disappointed that it wasn't the springboard for…

  • Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 09 Nov, 2014

    A small scale comedy special with good use of extra presentation materials like puppets without coming across as desperate and gimmicky, because Wyatt himself is just that grounded, relatable, genuine of a personality. I wouldn't say his bits are particularly memorable, however unlike a lot of recent Netflix specials I've tried to wade through (and given up on after 10-15 minutes - I'm looking at you Iliza Schlesinger), this is a smooth, easy watch.