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  • After Dark, My Sweet 1990

    ★★★½ Added

    A nearby perfect adaptation of a Jim Thompson book, in that it has a catchy premise, a compelling protagonist with a strong voice, and a plot that's unpredictable both because it's original, and because it makes very little sense. Jason Patric knocks it out of the park in his role as a vulnerable, damaged, yet powerful ex boxer; Bruce Dern is unforgettable as well. So much beautiful photography, so many strong scenes, and yet so many clunkers as well. A fascinating movie, if not always a solid one.

  • Gone Girl 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 05 Oct, 2014 1

    A rather hysterical bit of American lifestyle metaphor—but in a good way. The script winds around a bit much, the "message" is vague, but not matter. Actors are nearly all fantastic (Affleck does ok, but he's just not that interesting).

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  • 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 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,…