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  • 300: Rise of an Empire 2014

    ★★★ Watched 30 Jul, 2014

    It's another ugly masturbatory stroll through history, but while Zack Snyder's original 300 was a drab, ridiculously self-serious bore, Noam Murro's unnecessary follow-up is an even more ridiculous exercise that somehow manages to top its predecessor and actually be...fun. This isn't because Murro is reinventing the wheel here or that the screenplay tops the paper-thin outline of the original. No, this sequel's improvement comes down to one simple factor.

    Eva. Fucking. Green.

    That's it. Sullivan Stapleton is a big dull…

  • Cockneys vs Zombies 2012

    ★★½ Watched 04 Jul, 2014

    Too much of this misfires to really heartily enjoy or recommend, but it is a decently pleasant watch and at the end of the day it knows exactly what it is. Also, it invariably would be more enjoyable to Brits and those from East London, although I got enough to get the basics.

    Really a 2-star movie, but I'm feeling generous and bumping it a half-star for the credits, Monty Python-esque song and use of elderly people cursing like sailors and shooting large guns.

  • I, Frankenstein 2014

    ½ Watched 04 Jul, 2014 3

    Stupendously, stunningly bad.

    In every single way, one of the worst big-budget ($65 million in this case) mainstream Hollywood releases of my lifetime. As a fan of the (admittedly average) Underworld series, I find it personally insulting that anyone would equate or rate higher this...thing.

    I weep for Yvonne Strahovski and Miranda Otto. I want to see more of them in bigger movies...but not if it means demeaning themselves like they and everyone involved does here.

    I can't even wrap…

  • Transformers: Age of Extinction 2014

    ★★ Watched 30 Jun, 2014

    My favorite part of Transformers: Age of Extinction is when the 20-year old male lead takes out a laminated copy of the Texas law that proves he isn't actually committing statutory rape by sleeping with and ogling Marky Mark's 17-year old daughter and then taunting Marky Mark for sleeping and ogling his 17-year old daughter. For reals. As if by extension that absolves Michael Bay himself for his gross ogling of 17-year old Nicola Peltz. Peltz was actually 18 during…

  • Edge of Tomorrow 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 16 Jun, 2014

    Oh man, you guys. So good. SO GOOD. Almost exactly what I want from this kind of Summer Blockbuster. Nearly everything about this works from the strong visuals to the tight direction and editing to the quality cast and performances taking a good, light script and making it work even better. Folks who skipped out on this don't know what they missed.

    Also, there's a surprising level of depth you can mine from this (if you want to, it's not…

  • Godzilla 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 19 May, 2014

    Hard to imagine we'll see a more over-casted movie this year (I mean, why even bother casting Juliette Binoche or Sally Hawkins?), except of course where it counts (that would be male lead).

    I didn't think I'd see a worse lead performance for a big monster movie summer tentpole than Charlie Hunnam in Pacific Rim. That didn't even last a year. Simply put, Aaron Taylor-Johnson sucks. Full star comes off for the performance and the decision to cast him and…

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 09 Apr, 2014

    Boy, I seem to have boxed myself into a corner by being so generous to the Thor movies (both of them). Frankly, I think both Captain America movies blow those out of the water (probably the Iron Man films as well, in hindsight) and honestly are on par more with The Avengers than any of the other MCU installments. Personally, I think I slightly prefer the more art deco, comic book-y style and spirit of The First Avenger and the…

  • The Element of Crime 1984

    ★★★ Watched 20 Mar, 2014 3

    Stylistically, technically fantastic (the sepia look is both dreamily hypnotic and unendingly nauseating). However, it's also thematically and narratively familiar. The rare film that acts as a remarkable, unforgettable debut while simultaneously being a baffling, strangely unsatisfying work.

  • Gloria 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 18 Mar, 2014

    A nice, if unspectacular, character study, which is perhaps a bit too limited to the scope of the character's loneliness and desire for social interaction and wanting more out of life. Much of it is good and needed in an industry that rarely cares to portray this type of character with any sort of genuine empathy, however, it all too often feels like a rough draft or cut; some scenes seem to indicate threads that ultimately don't go anywhere while the conclusion, in particular, feels too easy. Paulina García, however, is phenomenal. Worth watching for her performance alone.

  • Nymphomaniac: Vol. I 2013

    ★★★★½ Watched 16 Mar, 2014

    Well, that was certainly something. Or, in this case, half of something.

    Too late for serious thoughts and honestly want to wait for Vol. 2 anyway. Rating, naturally, is subject to change.

    However, as to Vol. 1, I was entertained, impressed and...surprised. That doesn't mean everyone will feel as I do (and they certainly won't), but it is certainly a film to be seen.

    [Biggest problem and gripe is its inelegant and arbitrary division into "two" films. Practically, that might…

  • Thief 1981

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Mar, 2014 4

    James Caan was likely never better than he is here. Sublime moments and scenes appear throughout (the diner, torching a safe, the last 20 minutes), although so do a few that feel out of place and a bit hammy (the cops in particular). Liked it even more as it progressed until a concluding act that made me fall in love with it. If you can't have it all, then you might as well light a match and watch the world burn. An absolutely massive debut and criminally underrated work, although hopefully the new Criterion edition will shine a light.

  • American Hustle 2013

    ★★ Watched 14 Jan, 2014 2

    You all have been hoodwinked by a plethora of con men, both fictional and real. That's the only explanation I can come up with.

    What a mess.