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  • Penguins of Madagascar 2014

    ★½ Watched 02 Jan, 2015 1

    I used to joke that there was no kind of bad movie more depressing than a bad comedy, since at least you could still laugh at other bad movies. But since I became a parent, I've come to the realization that there's nothing worse than a bad family movie. It's not just that bad family movies encourage the misbegotten belief that where kids are concerned, it's somehow good enough to plop them in front of color and noise and dumb…

  • Winter Sleep 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 19 Jan, 2015

    Nuri Bilge Ceylan's WINTER SLEEP is long and spare, the sort of capital-A art film that has been going steadily out of style since the 1960s. It was clear to me that was the case ever since Cannes this year, when the FILM COMMENT crowd seemed to largely ignore it while falling over themselves to praise the fashionable formal experimentation of Godard's latest, GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE 3D (a movie I love, by the way), as though there wasn't room on…

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  • Oz: The Great and Powerful 2013

    ★★★ Added 1

    This is exactly the kind of movie that seems like it'll be ideal for a Yesterday's Hits-style anthropological assessment in a couple of decades. Those elements that have made this so popular- the wall-to-wall CGI-based spectacle, the four-quadrant-skewing reappropriation of one of the classics of Hollywood cinema- will probably be what makes this look quaint and dated over time. Yet it also promises to be fascinating in a number of ways.

    Most noticeably, this might be the first blockbuster I've…

  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights 1993

    ★★★½ Added 1

    So help me, I've got a soft spot for this one. Granted, as a comedy it's pretty hit and miss, although there are enough bits that work to forgive the ones that don't. But I have more affection for this as a corrective to the recent impulse Hollywood has had to give audiences grim and gritty tellings of the Robin Hood legend. What they invariably overlook is that, when it all comes down to it, Robin Hood is one of…