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  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 08 Apr, 2014

    Full disclosure: I thought Captain America: The First Avenger was a very "middle-of-the-road" movie. It was far from terrible, but I wasn't infatuated with it. The sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a considerable improvement. We get a better sense of the universe for this adventure, the humor and the drama are balanced adeptly, and the storyline feels vital instead of a set-up for the next Avengers film. This is a good flick, though that's not to say it's…

  • The Family 2013

    ★★ Watched 10 Apr, 2014

    This is one of several titles I was curious to see last year but didn't get a chance to do so until now. I dig the premise of a comedy centered around a Mafia family in the witness protection program. And initially, Luc Besson's adaptation of the novel Badfellas is humorous and interesting. Robert De Niro can obviously nail roles like this in his sleep, which is how he performs most of the time these days, but I digress. The…

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  • Fail-Safe 1964

    ★★★★ Watched 25 Mar, 2014 2

    Sidney Lumet brilliantly directs this chilling and honest Cold War political thriller that's based on the 1962 novel by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. The screenplay is by Walter Bernstein. Upon its initial release, this film was plagued by problems. For starters, a plagiarism suit was lodged against the aforementioned authors, filed by Columbia Pictures and the Dr. Strangelove producers. Eventually Kubrick insisted his movie be released first and as a result Fail-Safe was overshadowed by Dr. Strangelove, which hit…

  • The Wolf of Wall Street 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 27 Dec, 2013

    "I'm never eating at Benihana again. I don't care whose birthday it is."

    The Wolf of Wall Street, Scorsese's 23rd feature and his 5th collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio, is just damn brilliant.

    It is one of the best films of the year. Every cast and crew member is firing on all cylinders. I was tempted to say this is DiCaprio's Goodfellas in terms of his tenure under Scorsese's wing because it has more in common with that, but from a…