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  • Moana

    Moana 2016

    ★★★½ Watched 26 Nov, 2016

    Lots of wonderful design, and it's cool to see the South Pacific culture featured in a major movie. But the Disney formula is almost at parody levels here—beat by beat by beat, it's every Disney movie ever.

  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 2011

    ★★★½ Watched 26 Nov, 2016

    In theory, I love this movie. It looks exactly like the 70s paranoid fare I enjoy. But, while it's beautifully designed and shot and cast… the plot barely works, the dialog is often Hollywood-clumsy, and it all moves from scene to scene in a haphazard way less suggestive of a complex conspiracy and more of a director out of his depth.

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  • Starship Troopers

    Starship Troopers 1997

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 01 Aug, 2013

    It's as good an action/sci-fi movie as has ever been made, and on top of it, it's a subversive, complex, yet highly entertaining examination of the cost of social order. It has held up beautifully over the past 15 years, and in retrospect, it's one of the best movies of the 1990s.

  • The Master

    The Master 2012

    ★★★ Watched 21 Sep, 2012

    It's perfectly fine for a movie to have an elusive core, to not be about anything in particular. But when that is the case, it should at least populate the screen with enough varied ideas to invite engagement. The Master is a claustrophobic, one-track tale(?) and so the overwhelming emotions it invokes are befuddlement and, often, boredom.

    The titular Master is very mildly based on Scientology's L. Ron Hubbard, and references that spell this out do the movie no favors,…