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  • Nightcrawler 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 28 Jan, 2015

    Jake Gyllenhaal gives a forceful, commanding performance in this gripping dark satire...

    ...but he portrays an absolutely callous, unlikable asshole. And your enjoyment here will depend on how much you are able to accept him as the protagonist, and how keyed in you are to the fact that what Dan Giroy has made here is not a tidy melodrama with clear cut heroes, villains and a crisp message.

    This is the saga of a selfish, opportunistic young man named Lou…

  • The Imitation Game 2014

    ★★★ Watched 27 Jan, 2015

    The Masterpiece Theater version of A Beautiful Mind basically...

    This highly entertaining, well-acted film remains engrossing throughout, even as it covers a general subject matter about which there can be little real suspense.

    I mean, we know we won World War II. That much, we know. That this movie is making a big deal about the fact it seems we won thanks to this one guy, well...

    But I suppose that's the film's virtue: the human element. Because it is…

  • Still Alice 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 26 Jan, 2015

    About as heartbreaking as a movie can be... If you know what you're in for with this thing, let me promise you that it is exactly what you know you're in for.

    But brace yourself and get through it, because this is a work of quality.

    The husband and wife team of Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland have crafted a very sensitive filmic exploration of what it's like to live with a debilitating disease - for those on either side…

  • Birdman 2014

    ★★★ Watched 25 Jan, 2015

    Alejandro González Iñárritu is a pretentious filmmaker. He just can't help himself.

    And so, right up front, let me assure you that this is very much a pretentious film. It calls attention to itself with its trickery from the very first frame.

    Iñárritu's conceit, that the whole film feel like one extended tracking shot, is gimmicky and distracting. And yet, it works in giving the film a unique energy. It also serves to lend the proceedings an unusual level of…

  • Adventures in Babysitting 1987

    ★★★ Rewatched 24 Jan, 2015

    This is the reason so many of us young boys developed a crush on Elizabeth Shue in the 80s.

    This movie.

    It's pretty funny. Chris Columbus made his bones as the screenwriter of several quirky kiddie movies. But he didn't write his directorial debut... As such, it's a madcap misadventure in the John Hughes mold.

    It comes off a little bit like a noir variation on Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It actually resembles that movie quite a bit, as far…

  • Mr. Mom 1983

    ★★ Rewatched 24 Jan, 2015

    It's a relatively amusing, early 80s confection. But, if I'm being honest, it's just a little bit dated.

    There may have been a time when the subject matter on hand passed for topical. But, in today's climate, the idea of a company man's emasculation after he gets laid off and his wife becomes an exec... It comes off as either naive or condescending... Or maybe a little bit of both.

    Because I don't get it, really. He doesn't know how…

  • Exodus: Gods and Kings 2014

    ★★ Watched 21 Jan, 2015

    As the closing credits begin, there is a dedication... From director Ridley Scott to his brother Tony.

    I wish the preceding movie had the power and impact that dedication entails. And I wish it were the epic story of two brothers - as Its director undoubtedly intends this to be taken. And maybe there is a four hour cut somewhere, in some vault (oh, please, for the love of "your God" no) somewhere... To be unveiled in the inevitable 3-disc…

  • The 'Burbs 1989

    ★★★ Rewatched 20 Jan, 2015

    Although it's pretty slight, Joe Dante gets a lot of laughs out of this well cast and interesting cult comedy, back from when Tom Hanks was a comedic actor and he made comedies. This is one of the pretty good ones, that people who didn't watch obsessively on cable when they were twelve have probably forgotten.

    The screenplay, by Dana Olsen, is not quite as witty or incisive as it probably means to be; and yet this is still an…

  • World War Z 2013

    ★★ Watched 16 Jan, 2015

    There are better ways to tell this story.

    But, I guess Brad Pitt's first bona fide action blockbuster tried to find the most commercially accessible and easily digestible manner to feed the mainstream populace a huge slab of apocalypse - complete with a smiley ending.

    And it worked, because this thing made tons of money.

    Director Marc Forster and his team treat the proceedings with a pretentious air of self importance, desperately going for a sense of immediacy and authenticity...probably…

  • Legends of the Fall 1994

    ★★ Watched 11 Jan, 2015

    Or, really, if we want to be one hundred per cent honest, this insufferable picture should be re-titled: 90s EPIC: THE MOVIE. As it manages to encapsulate, in its quite interminable 133 minutes, anything and everything that people point to when throwing stones at the standard glossy melodrama that became such a staple in that decade.

    Brad Pitt is either very lucky, or very smart... Probably a little bit of both. And he knew, right up front, to get as…

  • The Banker 1989

    ★★ Rewatched 10 Jan, 2015

    "Weird" is about the only word you can really use to describe a movie in which a slick, hunky businessman, played by Duncan Regehr, elicits the services of call girls, has aggressive missionary sex with them, in steamy hotel rooms, while standard Skinemax music plays on the soundtrack; and then murders them with a crossbow.

    It's a really cool crossbow, by the way, with a laser scope. I wonder if Donald Trump has one of those.

    Anyway... As I was…

  • Lawless 2012

    ★★ Watched 10 Jan, 2015

    This prohibition era western is kinda boring, honestly. A good cast and some well executed moments of sharp, potent violence keep it watchable, but that's really all there is to it.

    Some may want to call it a gangster film, or a crime drama... That's their choice. I'm calling it a western because it has the texture of one, and this is what director John Hillcoat really specializes in. But, like all of his films, it's heavy as hell...ponderous, and…