RSS feed for James

Favorite films

Recent activity


Recent reviews

  • Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

    Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising 2016

    ½ Watched 16 Aug, 2016

    How is portraying young momen as witless, dope-addled buffoons somehow more progressive than doing so as drunken and promiscuous? Forget ideology, let's just write everyone as a person and go from there.

  • A Hologram for the King

    A Hologram for the King 2016

    ★★ Watched 10 Aug, 2016 4

    The debacle of an opening scene makes it immediately clear why even Tom Hanks wasn't able to secure it a wide release. Hanks is still a strangely magnetic Everyman, and there are some scattered moments of merit, but not much happens. And, bafflingly, the eponymous meeting is rushed by, as if the filmmakers got distracted and decided to rush past it. 

    Pic is also strangley uninterested in cultural differences between Hanks and his love interest, a female Saudi surgeon, meaning that none of it is believable or resonant.

Popular reviews

  • Live Free or Die Hard

    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.

  • Escape from New York

    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.