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  • Inherent Vice

    Inherent Vice 2014

    ★★★ Watched 25 May, 2015

    It's possible that Paul Thomas Anderson has made the first stoner movie that doesn't require the actual stoning... As the experience of watching it already makes you feel as if you're positively baked beyond all reason.

    Oh, for God's sake, don't ask me to explain any of this to you because I promise I don't have the first damn clue.

    Besides, I don't think it matters.

    This is all attitude and pure atmosphere... You're expected to take it all in,…

  • Focus

    Focus 2015

    ★★ Watched 24 May, 2015 1

    Scam movies are usually a lot of fun. We can delight in watching con men pull off one intricate swindle or another and we don't have to feel too bad about rooting for them, since their prey tends to be obnoxious rich assholes.

    Glenn Ficarra and John Requa certainly understand that principle. And they've applied the basics of the con movie genre to this amalgam of The Sting and The Thomas Crown Affair...

    Especially that last one. And, in case…

  • The Late Shift

    The Late Shift 1996

    ★★★ Watched 23 May, 2015

    Yeah... This is okay, I guess.

    At the time this was made, the subject was topical. Now, I suppose it's just a story about a bunch of assholes who all want the same slice of cake.

    Whether or not there was ever any kind of emotional investment, much less weight, to any of this I really don't know. Back when the tug of war for The Tonight Show between Dave Letterman and Jay Leno happened, it was a big deal.…

  • Maggie

    Maggie 2015

    ★★★ Watched 22 May, 2015

    This is most definitely not the zombie movie Arnold Schwarzenegger would have made in 1985.

    And I'll just go ahead and assume most of his lunkhead "fans" probably walked out of this low key, limited release effort either scratching their heads or bitching loudly or both.

    For the rest of us, that is to say, just regular people who appreciate a good little movie, all of this is pretty much good news.

    It's kind of fascinating, really, to watch Arnold…

  • Left Behind

    Left Behind 2014

    Watched 21 May, 2015

    It's a surprising and interesting turn of events... When I can say, with absolute certainty, that the cheaper low rent version from a decade ago - starring Kirk Fucking Cameron - is superior to the big, glossy remake headlined by Nicolas Cage...

    ...of all people.

    A relatively hefty expense was, in any case, placed forward into this silly enterprise - that bends over backwards trying to distinguish itself from standard Christian tract cinema, while never quite getting there either way.…

  • Hot Tub Time Machine 2

    Hot Tub Time Machine 2 2015

    ★★★ Watched 19 May, 2015

    Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson happen to be two very funny people. And I suppose that's this film's blessing...they came back for another round of time traveling and racy comedic hi jinx.

    So it all comes down to the returning cast (Adam Scott fills in for John Cusack -- he's okay) and their chemistry. It's good enough that the movie is still pretty funny... Even as it basically confirms the adage that comedy sequels are rarely very good.

    And, in…

  • The Crucible

    The Crucible 1996

    ★★★★ Rewatched 18 May, 2015

    Far as cinematic adaptations of famous plays go, Nicholas Hytner's long since forgotten film version of The Crucible is probably about as good as the best of them.

    Oh, it's nothing special in terms of filmmaking really, but none of these things tend to be. Consider he's working from Arthur Miller's own text and they've done nothing to mask the story's stage origins.

    And they don't have to... They're lucky in that it takes place in Salem, so they can…

  • Blackhat

    Blackhat 2015

    ★★ Watched 16 May, 2015

    I can say Chris Hemsworth acquits himself quite well in Michael Mann's Wonderful World Of Tough Stories About Stoic Men. Sure, his accent is a bit spotty here and there. He has a little trouble with the hard "r" pronunciation. Unless of course, he was deliberately trying to sound like a born and bred Chicagoan suffering from cerebral palsy, in which case he's spot on. And then of course there's that common giveaway for the Aussies... You know... Where "anything"…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road 2015

    ★★★★★ Watched 15 May, 2015

    Well... I guess George Miller had some more shit to say about all this stuff after all.

    Or, maybe, it's more than that. Maybe he just needed to say his piece about the state of modern action cinema in general.

    Either way, the result is pretty fucking impressive let me tell you.

    Watching this modern opus in the saga of Max Rockatansky, you get the feeling that Miller is like a balloon -- filled to absolute maximum capacity with hydrogen...just…

  • Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

    Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome 1985

    ★★★★ Rewatched 12 May, 2015

    It's clear that the Mad Max series is where George Miller decided to indulge all of his adventure fantasies. However disparate they may be, Miller would find a way to fit whatever particular genre obsession he may have had onto this post apocalyptic tableau.

    And so...with the B movie revenge and the high octane chase out of the way, in the third installment, he goes all in: Presenting for your consideration a large scale epic adventure, completely keyed in to…

  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

    Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior 1981

    ★★★★ Rewatched 11 May, 2015

    And here is the reason why this series lingers.

    In which George Miller and his madcap filmmaking team expand upon the stark and spare B movie ethos of the first movie and blow it up on an epic landscape... Further exploring a comic book obsession with the spaghetti western aesthetic; and opening it up to include elements of medieval adventure and violent war movie.

    The result is one of the best action films ever made.

    Still a model of economic…

  • Mad Max

    Mad Max 1979

    ★★★ Rewatched 08 May, 2015

    Considering this character and his apocalyptic world were ultimately immortalized on a much broader canvas, it's probably easy to forget that it all started with this... A pretty standard B movie.

    And, to be honest, a rather sloppy one at that.

    At the same time, though, George Miller's ambition is still impressive. Because this is not without merit as a rather visionary spin on the biker melodrama/car chase action sub genre of the seventies...

    He takes that kind of vehicular…