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  • The Invitation

    The Invitation 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Jun, 2016

    Taut, tense, and manages to both deliver on your expectation of where it might be going, as well as subvert that and make it bigger than you think. Clever!

  • Experiment in Terror

    Experiment in Terror 1962

    ★★½ Watched 13 Jun, 2016

    On paper and in film stills, this should be an underrated classic. In action, however, it's slow as molasses and totally unconvincing. The plot is ludicrous, making no attempt to justify its beats that feel as if written by a 5th-grader: a woman calls the FBI (why not the police?) to say she's being threatened, and they immediately mount an enormous surveillance detail? Glenn Ford is far too bland to sell himself as a heartthrob hero. Mancini's score is good, and there are some solid set pieces here (the mannequin sequence). But overall, a flop.

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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,…