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  • Equilibrium 2002

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 16 Dec, 2014

    I probably love this film more than anyone else who has ever received a decent-sized check to pen a movie review. Blistering, innovative action ignites this story of rebellion against the ultimate nanny state, with Christian Bale as a sort of Winston Smith crossed with Tequila from "Hard Boiled." Never mind soft spots; this movie just *gets* me.

  • The Equalizer 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Dec, 2014

    The action hero as chess player, always several steps ahead, invulnerable not so much because of his fighting skills (which are substantial), but because he can't be outsmarted. Riveting ending is basically R-rated "Home Alone" in a Home Depot. First half hour suggests genius, but it dips to mere excellence when it becomes more about the killing than why it's happening.

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  • Escape from New York 1981

    ★★★★ Added

    Kurt Russell always sat on the periphery of the A-list, a charming lead, convincing macho man, and fine actor, a household name yet never the sort of star who put asses in the seats by his name alone. This movie features perhaps his defining performance as Snake Plissken, a gunfighter whose ruthlessness is weighted by a conscience, a dry joker who cares for the decent people who cross his path and yet is content to watch the whole world come crashing down. People are worth saving, humanity isn't, every good anti-hero knows. Expect this role at the top of Russell's obituary, and with good reason.

  • Live Free or Die Hard 2007

    ★★★½ Watched 27 Jun, 2007 2

    Myopic fanboys largely just complained that this didn't have enough profanity, but as an exciting look at another bad day for Willis' John McClane, this does the trick. Wiseman's competent handling of action scenes is bolstered by Willis' enthusiastic performance, while the pacing makes it feel leaner than it actually is. Serious foul with the fighter jet/semi-truck battle, though, a scene so stupid and unnecessary that it nearly wrecks the climax.