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  • Jupiter Ascending

    Jupiter Ascending 2015

    ★★ Watched 22 May, 2015

    Woof.

  • Pitch Perfect 2

    Pitch Perfect 2 2015

    ★★★ Watched 21 May, 2015

    Enjoyable enough, but felt very much like a script engineered by a marketing committee. Just slightly too many cameos, slightly too much focus on characters because the actors playing them became bankable between the first movie and this one (and too little focus on characters whose actors didn't), everyone wearing slightly too expensive designer clothes, everything being slightly bigger than it needed to be.

    Pitch Perfect wasn't perfect, but it managed to capture something unique and exciting. Pitch Perfect 2... doesn't.

  • Roar

    Roar 1981

    ★★★★½ Watched 20 May, 2015

    Like a Werner Herzog fever dream.

  • Robot & Frank

    Robot & Frank 2012

    ★★★★★ Added

    The exact year this film is set in is never explicitly stated, but it can't be too far off into our future from what we see on screen. In fact the technological advances shown here aren't so much future as they are extremely current present. The phones, screens, cars, and appliances in Robot & Frank are of our time, they're just not common in our time. Some of those choices are made out of necessity by the film-makers – it's cheaper…

  • 8½

    1963

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 29 Apr, 2015

    Some films make that jump from mere art to pure magic. "8½" does it in its very first frame.

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron

    Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 27 Apr, 2015

    I have spent many hours of my life listening to Joss Whedon talk. On countless DVD audio commentaries (most of them multiple times), in interviews and podcasts.

    So to hear James Spader, playing one of the most interesting characters to ever appear in these movies, do a pitch-perfect... impression? imitation? channeling? Whatever you want to call it and whatever creative decisions might have lead to it, Joss Whedon is Ultron. And it's glorious.

  • Playtime

    Playtime 1967

    ★★★★½ Watched 25 Apr, 2015

    I'm amazed by the way Tati choreographed movement in this film, and especially how he utilized space. Reminded me of Wim Wenders' recent use of 3D, actually.

    This essay on the way Akira Kurosawa stages scenes came to mind, too. Only where Kurosawa draws triangles, Jacques Tati builds pyramids.

  • Clouds of Sils Maria

    Clouds of Sils Maria 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 08 Apr, 2015

    Kristen Stewart is, of course, amazing. I don't think I'll ever be a fan of Olivier Assayas' "Let's make the world's best actors read the world's clumsiest exposition"-style of film-making, though.

  • Even Dwarfs Started Small

    Even Dwarfs Started Small 1970

    Watched 08 Apr, 2015

    I can't even.

  • Big Hero 6

    Big Hero 6 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 30 Mar, 2015

    Everything is a remix, and that's fine. But if virtually every single review of a movie starts off with a list of other titles, it becomes a distraction.

    As blatant as some of them appeared, I don't even think the similarities to films like "The Iron Giant" had to be intentional, necessarily. But that just goes to reveal the overtly formulaic (which is a nice way of saying lazy) nature of the script.

    That said, the film does manage to entertain, mostly through the adorable Baymax (including the funniest drunk acting I've ever seen on screen) and the beautifully designed and realized world of San Fransokyo.

  • The Night of the Hunter

    The Night of the Hunter 1955

    ★★★★★ Added

    I love this film, but I also admire it, its craft. From the cinematography, the built sets, the lighting, the movement (or deliberate lack thereof) to the carefully scripted and equally carefully spoken words. “The Night of the Hunter” is aesthetically pleasing on a level that very few works of art are.

    More words and some pictures here.

  • Force Majeure

    Force Majeure 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 15 Mar, 2015

    What is more menacing than an avalanche moving slowly towards you?

    A camera doing just the same.