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  • Pump up the Volume 1990

    ★★★ Rewatched 21 Jul, 2014

    Rewatched for podcast. Watch for it in this space within the next 2 weeks:

  • The Newton Boys 1998

    ★★★ Watched 21 Jul, 2014

    Of the half dozen Linklater movies that are just okay, this is the okayest. Maybe merits a revisit given McConaughey and The Hawker are on better terms with the cinephiles these days.

  • Downloaded 2013

    ★★★ Watched 19 Jul, 2014

    From Alex Winter of Bill and Ted fame, all the stuff about Napster that you probably already knew, just told quite well. On Netflix.

  • Boyhood 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 17 Jul, 2014

    Extremely high expectations and 164 minutes are maybe a dangerous mix, but Richard Linklater (one of my very favorite directors) almost creates the masterpiece everyone else seems to think this is. I'm not quite there, at least not yet.

    Perhaps known more for the attractive concept than anything else, Boyhood is a fictional film that follows young Mason through around 12 years of all of the players actual lives, ending some time during his first year of college. Each segment…

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 15 Jul, 2014 1

    While just about as good as Rise, I left the theater with completely different parts of my brain buzzing. While both films succeed largely because of their emotionally satisfying core, Rise was on a basic level, more fun, and this one has more or less left that behind to dig for more. It frequently transcends genre trappings. And while I think it succeeded thematically, visually, emotionally, and as a simple effective piece of storytelling, I mourn that extra buzz.

  • The Counselor 2013

    ★★½ Rewatched 16 Jul, 2014 2

    Well at least this time I remembered it after it was over.

    This is a movie I *want* to get and join the small but loud cult of, but I just can't. The first hour of the film in particular is a slog, largely thanks to the bland nameless protagonist (if it were up to me I'd have Pitt and Fassbender switch roles) and poor handling of the plot elements in favor of the overblown dialogue. It's a movie I…

  • After Tiller 2013

    ★★½ Watched 16 Jul, 2014

    You don't usually expect documentaries about hot button subjects to be so boring, but here you go.

  • The Campaign 2012

    ★★½ Rewatched 16 Jul, 2014

    It's not horrible, but for most of the movie it plays more like alternate cuts and deleted scenes sewn together than what was probably intended.

  • Empire Records 1995

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 14 Jul, 2014 1

    (Fan Remix Edition, with still no spotting of Tobey Maguire as the mysterious "Andre")

    I know I must have seen this near 50 times. One of those movies my sister had on VHS I watched along with her endlesslly until it become my own and I lost all sense of objectivity and if its actually any good. It's all too familiar at this point, but still after near 20 (!) years so very quotable, relatable. A time warp. It dawned…

  • Oldboy 2013

    ★★ Watched 13 Jul, 2014

    If the original didn't exist, this might.. *might* have been a cult film for lack of options. However, even though it was not as bad as I expected, by the time it has reached the copy of the originals famed hallway fight sequence, this has exhausted its welcome, feeling not only unnecessary but oddly... safe. Yet there's something more grotesque about a movie with this kind of plot and this kind of extreme violence that presents those extremes in such…

  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes 2011

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 13 Jul, 2014

    Holds up so well on rewatch. Cesar remains perhaps the most sympathetic and engaging CGI character I've seen, and any other claimants to that throne would also be thanks to Serkis (Gollum and King Kong would be up there). Even the action sequences play just as well on the smaller screen. I was already looking forward to Dawn, but having agreed to wait on it a few days to see with friends, this rewatch has me pacing in anticipation to see more monkey magic.

  • Life Itself 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 13 Jul, 2014

    While it would be hard for me to picture anyone thinking this was a bad or boring documentary, your enjoyment of Life Itself likely varies by whatever degree you hold Ebert up as a hero and/or agree with how certain people/relationships are depicted. By that I mean, if the same treatment was given to say, Jim Henson, it could be my favorite documentary of all time. As a somewhat by-the-numbers documentary it's very good. As a Steve James film, it's…