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  • John Wick 2014

    ★★ Watched 27 Oct, 2014

    Familiar recipe. Stale ingredients. Decent chef. So makes up John Wick, the generic-est genre feature I've seen since last years Closed Circuit. The material is competently handled, but I am baffled at the love being shown for something so ordinary.

  • Whiplash 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 25 Oct, 2014

    Psychological torture porn for every artist who has ever faced down with a teacher or instructor with a "push" method. Far more entertaining than I would have expected, to the point of ridiculous melodrama (which I'm cool with), Whiplash manages to live up to the hype as a subversive commentary on what makes good art. JK Simmons' extremist musical director is really more of a Full Metal Jacket-ish drill instructor by nature, with hilarious-yet-disturbing one liners that would make In…

  • Birdman 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 25 Oct, 2014

    Just the kind of pretentious twaddle I like. Couldn't have been happier to watch Michael Keaton lead such a dreamlike visual feast with darkly comedic elements, media satire and meta commentary on some of its main players. I've always enjoyed Inarritu but this is far and away his most interesting, and certailnly most fun, of his outings.

  • Palo Alto 2013

    ★★★★½ Watched 23 Oct, 2014

    For whatever it's worth, the best film directed by a Coppola since Lost in Translation. Emma Roberts has a lot of charisma in a quiet role, but elsewhere the dialogue is excellent and memorable. The stories are simplistic sketches of white people coming of age, but the characterizations feel authentic. A strong debut.

  • Sleepless in Seattle 1993

    ★★★ Watched 10 Oct, 2014

    I can see why it's a staple of the genre.

    I can also see that if the genders were swapped, this would get real creeptastic real quick.

    I can also see that painting the baxter as an ineffectual allergic person in order to show he's the wrong man is kind of crass, especially for a rom-com.

  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day 2014

    ★★★ Watched 13 Oct, 2014

    This was even more for kids than I expected it to be. It's basically After Hours for Tots, which is just entertaining enough to spend 90 minutes with, however the very first scene of the entire film shows enough aftermath to make a number of scenes tedious as you just await the obvious wacky plot development. Additionally, though everyone is fine, the movie doesn't really center around anyone, and considering Alexander is the heavy in the title, it makes the…

  • Non-Stop 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 13 Oct, 2014

    The 3rd or 4th best of the newfangled Liam Neeson Punches Whatever genre.

  • Gone Girl 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 09 Oct, 2014 1

    Dear David,

    Thanks for the site hits,

    Sincerely,

    Every social justice blogger on the Internet

  • Working Girl 1988

    ★★ Watched 07 Oct, 2014

    Watched because of Bob's Burgers Die Hard/Working Girl musical episode, and it just kind of passed before my eyes without ever making much of an impression, failing to see what the big deal is, even for its time.

  • Chef 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 06 Oct, 2014

    Favreaus' Chef is just a straight-up good time, and the easiest watch you can find in recent DVD releases. This is probably Favreau's best turn both as a director and an actor, putting off a Louis CK vibe in his role as a talented, temperamental dad just trying to make some good food. There actually isn't a whole hell of an arc in this film. It's not about getting his talent back (obvious it had just been mishandled all along),…

  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 2014

    ★★ Watched 06 Oct, 2014

    Well, I hated the first one and thus didn't bother with this in theaters, but a free Redbox rental was the best opportunity I was going to get to try and minimize bias against it going in.

    And for what its worth, I liked this slightly better than the first of these new Spiderman films. There are some nice looking setpieces, I actually did not mind Foxx as Electro, Emma Stone is always watchable, and the music in the film…

  • The Boxtrolls 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 06 Oct, 2014

    Laika's latest is another technical leap forward for stop motion animation. so seamless at times you forget about how its made while still marveling at the images. It's very dry and as cute as a steampunky sensibility can get.

    It also has underlying themes of identity all over the place that are likely to spur some thinkpieces in favor and against it. On one hand the adoption of the main character and the journey he goes through, being told he…