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  • Monsters University

    Monsters University

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I love looking at this as an implied condemnation of modern academics.

    Mike and Sully worked their way up the ranks and became scarers at the most prestigious scaring company in all the land - and they did it *without* a college degree OR crippling student debt. The OK squad would be living at Squishy's mom's house for the next 60 years trying to pay off those MU loans.

    And what did they experience in college? No teacher or faculty…

  • Die Hard

    Die Hard

    ★★★★★

    Observations from this viewing:

    Joe Takagi and Hans Gruber have the same first lines - "Ladies and gentlemen...ladies and gentlemen!", both while addressing the party crowd.

    My girlfriend commented on how good the movie was, adding: "Now I know why you wanted me to watch it." This was *before* the villains arrived. To captivate viewers so thoroughly with a lived-in world, likable characters, and interpersonal conflict you care about - all before the real story kicks in - takes some…

  • The Family Stone

    The Family Stone

    ★★½

    This felt like half of a movie.

    I liked that it was more drama than comedy, but that also made the comedy stick out and feel weirdly misplaced. The film is okay, but I wanted more.

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Somewhere between the action of this film and the characters of The Force Awakens lies a truly great Star Wars film.

    Most of my criticisms leveled against TFA have been remedied here, particularly in the action movie department. As an action movie, TFA is familiar, redundant, lackluster, and plain bad. We've seen it all before, we've seen it all better, and we don't need to see it again. Rogue One, on the other hand, plays out like a 60s war…

  • Jingle All the Way

    Jingle All the Way

    ★★★★

    I love just about everything about this film.

  • Mascots

    Mascots

    ★★★★

    I thought this was a TV show.

    Christopher Guest needs a TV show.


    Beer: Small Town Brewery Not Your Father's Root Beer - 2/5 (this is not good)

  • Green Room

    Green Room

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I wanted to like this more.

    The idea of Patrick Stewart playing a Nazi villain is far more intriguing than actually seeing Patrick Stewart playing a Nazi villain. He didn't have a lot to do. His presence alone cannot make up for that. I loved what he actually did, but I wanted more.

    The idea of a punk band unable to escape a music venue after witnessing a murder is my kind of concept, and it worked more often than…

  • This Is Spinal Tap

    This Is Spinal Tap

    ★★★★½

    Shit sandwich.

  • Kingsman: The Secret Service

    Kingsman: The Secret Service

    ★★★½

    Matthew Vaughn is so good, he can make the most cliche-ridden film wildly entertaining.

    This is that film.

    I'm reminded of the G.I. Joe films, but in a good way - dumb fun that won't supply you with very much insight, but you'll be smiling in two hours, so it doesn't feel so bad to relax for a while with a good beer.

  • Loving

    Loving

    ★★★★½

    Beautifully understated and treated with a real-world tenderness that a story of this nature deserves. This is not Oscar-bait; this is just a great film expertly crafted by one of the premier talents in the industry today.

    See this movie.

  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles

    Planes, Trains and Automobiles

    ★★★★½

    I can't imagine anyone making a better Thanksgiving movie.

  • Finding Dory

    Finding Dory

    ★★★★

    Better the second time around.

    The writing for this film can sometimes be problematic, and often takes some logic shortcuts for the sake of emotion and drama - but that's pretty much what Christopher Nolan is so often excused for, so I don't see why we shouldn't give this one a pass, as well, particularly since the emotion and drama in this film works on a higher level than Nolan has ever reached.

    In all, this is a fun yet imperfect sequel (which is pretty much the definition of 'sequel'). Better than Cars 2, but Finding Nemo, this is not.