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  • Pawn Sacrifice 2014

    ★★½ Watched 15 Sep, 2014

    #TIFF14

    The latest from Edward Zwick is a mess whose story thankfully manages to stay entertaining despite over the top, hammy direction. It's one of those biopic occasions where a Ron Howard is in order.

    Tobey Maguire plays Bobby Fischer as if he is CM Punk, arrogant, brash, demanding, but also clever, private and paranoid. It's a solid performance but a hard one to rally around, even despite Sarsgaard and Stuhlberg in amicable supporting roles.

    This is one of those…

  • What We Do in the Shadows 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Sep, 2014

    #TIFF14

    Really maybe more a 3.75 but I am feeling more good about this one than upon leaving the theater, and expect to grow to love more in the future.

    What We Do In The Shadows is a Kiwi mockumentary about vampires, and it stars Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords. With that sentence alone you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect. There are really only a few vampire-based gags to keep going to, however this…

  • Men, Women & Children 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 14 Sep, 2014

    #TIFF14

    Like M. Night Shyamalan at least used to be, Jason Reitman is a very good filmmaker with unrealistic aspirations to be one of the very best, and there's something about both of them that apparently make people want to slap them, hard, when they overreach. Know your role, and shut your mouth.

    Caveat emptor: I've enjoyed all of his films, including the (IMO misunderstood) Labor Day, and of all of them it was Juno that I had the hardest…

  • Pitch Perfect 2012

    ★★★★ Rewatched 25 Aug, 2014

    www.rowthree.com/2014/09/06/soundtrack-of-your-life-5-pitch-perfect/

    Recorded a full podcast on the soundtrack and stories around it.

  • The Last 5 Years 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 09 Sep, 2014

    TIFF 2014:

    It's a musical, and it's a musical with NON-STOP SINGING, and it's shot with a lot of closeups and swinging motions that like Hooper's Les Miserables intends to punch you in the face with feelings, so I'm already thoroughly un-shocked at the range of responses this far. Based on a popular off-Broadway play, this film which I chose expecting some fun romp is actually a thoroughly cathartic look at how people change and things go wrong when they…

  • Secrets of War 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 09 Sep, 2014

    TIFF 2014:

    A WWII movie somehow programmed into TIFF's "Kids" package. Based on a young adult novel, three friends of different backgrounds find themsevles forced at a crossroads, eventually betrayal, because of their background/family loyalties. Sensitively directed with some of the best child acting you could hope for. I was extremely tired going into this one, anticipating an expensive TIFF nap, but was very much drawn in. Worth seeking out.

  • A Good Old Fashioned Orgy 2011

    ★★★½ Watched 09 Sep, 2014

    Surprisingly decent, built for lazy afternoon Netflix. Simple premise, more light-hearted than one would expect, with a solid cast.

  • I Know That Voice 2013

    ★★★ Watched 09 Sep, 2014

    It ain't fantastic, but most fans of cartoons old and new alike should have a fun enough time with this.

  • The Book Thief 2013

    ★★★ Watched 03 Sep, 2014

    Admittedly nodded off in parts, but of all things the narration for me pushes this one over the mendoza line.

  • What If 2014

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 23 Aug, 2014

    Third viewing. Fucking hell that I have to log it under it's incorrect American title.

  • Rookie of the Year 1993

    ★★★½ Rewatched 16 Aug, 2014

    Holds up better than any kids film from the 90s probably should. Mind you, it ain't no Sandlot.

    If this was released today, Slate or Salon would have a 2000 word essay about how this could never happen.

  • The Twilight Saga: Eclipse 2010

    ★★ Watched 16 Aug, 2014

    The first Twilight is unwatchable. New Moon and this one both look better, have decently curated soundtracks, and are watchable in a yell-at-the-daytime-soap-opera way. Jacob is a creepy raper. Edward shows all the stoic passion of Days of Our Lives' John Black. Expressions of love are treated as significant burdens rather than anything of joy. Because apparently the books are written with a lot of inner dialogue, in adaptation Bella's frequent silences and odd decisions make her seem as confused and erratic as Lisa from The Room. So... I don't hate watching these movies anymore.