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  • Insidious: Chapter 3

    Insidious: Chapter 3 2015

    ★★★ Watched 01 Aug, 2015

    At the very least, it's an interesting notion that veteran character player Lin Shaye can now have a supernatural adventure franchise to call her own. In fact, this third installment of the popular horror series plays very much like a superhero origin story. And, it should be noted, this is predating Marvel's Dr. Strange by at least a year or two.

    These are all intriguing notions. And the movie itself is also intriguing and entertaining. What it isn't, is particularly…

  • Chappie

    Chappie 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 31 Jul, 2015

    Neill Blomkamp repurposes elements of, I suppose, his favorite movies from the 80s into yet another one of his Johannesburg sci-fi action epics.

    The result is a squarely enjoyable movie that was perhaps unreasonably shit on by - let's call them - the INTERNET GEEK COGNOSCENTI for... Um.. For... I'm not sure why. I'm simply assuming it was because they decided they didn't like Blomkamp anymore because his last movie kind of sucked and so let's pick on Neill Blomkamp.…

  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

    Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation 2015

    ★★★ Watched 30 Jul, 2015 2

    And so... That's the template that's been established with this series, then. Some shady bad guy wants a McGuffin so he can kill a bunch of spies... Tom Cruise and company must get the McGuffin before he does. Meanwhile, they've all been disavowed by the CIA or whatever... The end.

    I'm giving them props first and foremost because at the very least they've known how to reheat the same tray of Lean Cuisine and keep serving it to us as…

  • Alien: Resurrection

    Alien: Resurrection 1997

    ★★★ Rewatched 27 Jul, 2015

    If nothing else, Jean-Pierre Jeunet's flamboyant fourth entry in the cycle cements the Alien series as one of the more interesting ones out there. Four singular films from four separate visionary filmmakers, each bringing their own personality to the table in unique ways.

    Another plus is that the film is definitely entertaining. Certainly more so than the third entry, if only because it at least injects a refreshing sense of play into the proceedings. Maybe it wasn't a conscious decision…

  • Alien³

    Alien³ 1992

    ★★★ Rewatched 26 Jul, 2015

    And then they tossed David Fincher onto the coals to rescue a project from development hell... And took two steps back.

    That's the thing with escalation. Once you raise the stakes and broaden the scope, you have to keep building. James Cameron had taken this to epic heights so what came next had to either be bigger and bolder or just completely off the wall and different.

    It's neither. But it tries to be. There is a valiant and relatively…

  • Ant-Man

    Ant-Man 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 16 Jul, 2015

    So, this was pretty good. The ads sold it as a kind of old school superhero origin movie. And it is that, to some degree. But it's also, to a greater degree, a whimsical caper comedy with an interestingly gooey center and an appropriate sense of play. Either way, there's an old fashioned vibe to this that makes it very appealing and, if it wasn't already evident, it once again proves that Marvel Studios aren't in the business of making…

  • Aliens

    Aliens 1986

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 14 Jul, 2015

    James Cameron seems to understand sequels better than anyone. Their purpose and their execution. To wit, he made arguably the two most satisfying genre sequels of the past 30 years. This is one of them.

    Aliens works because it builds and expands upon what came before, without being beholden to it. Which is not to say Cameron didn't have any respect or admiration for Ridley Scott's classic film... He certainly did. Especially when you consider that his approach to this…

  • The Interview

    The Interview 2014

    ★★★ Watched 04 Jul, 2015

    While most certainly not the piercing arrow point of political commentary that should cause extremists to buckle at the knees and incinerate moviegoers, this is at least pretty damn funny.

    It isn't the end all, be all... And, frankly, it doesn't really have a lot to say. It's basically the sort of crude, mile-a-minute referencing, sassy comedy you've come to expect from the Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg assembly line.

    And if you know what you're in for, then you know whether…

  • Terminator Genisys

    Terminator Genisys 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 02 Jul, 2015

    Unsurprisingly, there will be quite a few people who will approach this having made up their mind beforehand how they're going to feel. If you're one of those people, there's nothing I can say to change your mind. That goes double for anyone who feels this series peaked in its first installment.

    If the first paragraph describes you in any way, then - short of it having the actual ability to cure cancer - I don't think there's anything this…

  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines 2003

    ★★★ Rewatched 01 Jul, 2015

    James Cameron pretty much closed the book on this saga with his two-film cycle. It's a near perfect, double-sided coin that explores this apocalyptic universe from every conceivable angle... And, depending on what flavor you're in the mood for, it can be a hard-edged thriller or a rip-roaring action adventure for the whole family to enjoy.

    So, there's really nothing left for director Jonathan Mostow and his team to do but rehash and place a bright sheen on things... With…

  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day

    Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 27 Jun, 2015

    There are really only two reasons a sequel is valid. You either have more story to tell or you can somehow improve upon what came before. At least one of these is true in this case, and James Cameron understands that. So, he closes the book on his man vs. machine saga in grand fashion: with awesome spectacle and a sense of fun.

    Cameron paints the sequel to his own work with the same brush that he did for Aliens...…

  • Ouija

    Ouija 2014

    ★★ Watched 25 Jun, 2015

    What are you expecting? Something good? Something classy? It's a basically standard haunted house movie, built around the concept of a spirit board, co-produced by Michael Bay and the Hasbro toy company as a promotional tool for the mass market spirit board sold in toy stores around the world and put out by the Hasbro toy company.

    Two things... Far as movies based on board games go, I can say it comes off as a more adequately mounted and serviceable…