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  • 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…

  • Wild Tales

    Wild Tales 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 07 May, 2015

    Anthologies can be a tough sell... You have a bunch of stories and maybe they won't all be that great, and then the movie's over and that's it.

    I suppose, if you want to really scrutinize things, Damian Szifron's cycle of irony and vengeance has some of those flaws. In that 2 of the 6 tales are maybe not excellent; and the final one is a tad anti-climactic...

    Sure, maybe that's a little bit of a problem.

    Or maybe it's…

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron

    Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 30 Apr, 2015

    And so... The 2015 Marvel Studios Yearbook delivers the grand level of spectacle entertainment you've come to expect from the brand.

    There's no way to replicate the novelty of seeing all the heroes come together for the first time. That had its moment and a very specific kind of crowd pleasing charm that you can only do once.

    I think the filmmakers know that, though, so they decide to just barrel ahead with the large scale thrills in the hopes…