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  • A Good Man

    A Good Man

    ★½

    Seagal is so fat that his action scenes require several cuts a second just to give the illusion that he can move faster than my grandpa. For a look at how not to film a love scene, fast-forward to the last 30 seconds, where it looks like Seagal was not given permission to actually touch the actress he's supposedly about to screw. 

    On the other hand, guaranteed that I enjoyed this more than I will at least two of the upcoming Best Picture nominees.

  • In a Valley of Violence

    In a Valley of Violence

    ★★

    Underwritten and overacted, this genre throwback could have been a lot of fun, but Ti West's attempts to po-mo a Western ala Tarantino fall flat. The narrative clumsily lumbers from one irritating scene to the next, often doting on them in such ways that it feels like much of it was copy-and-pasted from other, often better scripts. This also features far and away the shittiest score I've heard in a long time, one bad enough that have none at all would have been preferable.

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  • Live Free or Die Hard

    Live Free or Die Hard

    ★★★½

    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.

  • Escape from New York

    Escape from New York

    ★★★★

    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.