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  • Jackie

    Jackie

    ★½

    Natalie Portman does a decent job of acting I suppose, though she has zero chemistry with her co-stars. The production values seem to have made the most of a small budget, and it was good to see John Hurt again. I thought the rest of the film was just bad. Poorly written, filmed, and directed, accompanied by an annoying quasi-horror movie score that was often mixed way too loud. The prevalence of close-ups made most of the film feel claustrophobic.…

  • Suicide Squad

    Suicide Squad

    ★★★

    Maybe it was a case of very low expectations, but I didn’t think Suicide Squad was a disaster at all. I enjoyed it for the most part. It wasn’t great and I think I’ll likely forget it quickly, but I’ve seen much worse movies. The lack of truly memorable action set pieces is probably the biggest flaw.

    I liked the character introductions in the beginning. Everything was amusing and zipped along at a healthy pace. The second half took itself…

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    ★★★½

    I didn't like the first two-thirds of "Rogue One", but I enjoyed the third act so much it pretty much redeemed the whole movie.

    The first two-thirds seemed slow and disjointed. "Rogue One" does have a different tone than the films in the Saga, and that took a little getting used to. It's more serious and there's a minimum of corny stuff and very few attempts at humor. I do think the writing and directing is fairly poor. The action…

  • The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé! : A Trip Across Latin America

    The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé! : A Trip Across Latin America

    ★★★

    I liked the movie, but didn't love it. Some might consider it to be little more than a glorified DVD extra.

    The good:

    I especially enjoyed "fly on the wall" bits like traveling into the Stones' rehearsal space, going into Keith's hotel room, and Mick's look into the camera right before taking the stage in Cuba. The film captures some of the vibe and excitement that builds in the time leading up a Rolling Stones concert.

    There were more than…

  • Hell or High Water

    Hell or High Water

    ★★★★

    I enjoyed it. It's not a reinvention of cinema. On the contrary, much of the film felt very familiar. Not in a bad way, though. I appreciated that "Hell Or High Water" was simply an old-fashioned Western set in the present day. Cowboys, Indians, bank robbers, a grizzled Sheriff and his deputy, ect. There's a good sense of style, fine acting and a healthy undercurrent of humor as well. For fans of Jeff Bridges, it's a welcome followup to the 2010 "True Grit".

  • Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders

    Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Add a star or two if you're a fan of the 1966 TV version of Batman with all of its campy kitsch, subtract one or two if you're not.

    The spoiler here is not a very well-kept secret. There's a meta angle to this film, as Batman becomes a bit darker and a little bit more in line with the modern interpretations of the character. This plot twist might have raised some interesting questions, but Batman's turn toward "darkness" here…

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★

    The last time Amy Adams met an alien in "Man Of Steel", she had sex with it. Luckily, she is able to restrain herself from gettin' it on with the aliens in "Arrival", even though the extraterrestrials in this film spend half their time squirting liquid toward Adams' face.

    There's a sorta Twilight Zone-esque twist at the end that raises an interesting philosophical question that seems to be hitting a lot of people right in the feels. I'm glad that…

  • Zootopia

    Zootopia

    ★★★★

    On the surface it's a mismatched buddy cop tale, but the subtext is all about racism, societal division, violence, and drugs. Definitely not what I was expecting from a Disney cartoon about a city full of talking animals. An added bonus was that Judy and Nick were actually likeable and interesting characters that felt well-thought out. I wasn't expecting a lot, so I'm surprised at how much I thought about the movie later. I have to respect the fact that it dared to handle such adult sized themes and integrate them into a kid friendly story.

  • Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange

    ★★★½

    Entertaining film that benefits from good casting in the title role. "Doctor Strange" is a little too jokey for my tastes, but I understand why there was so much humor. Call it the "Guardians Of The Galaxy" effect. The effective use of humor in that film has been recognized by movie producers will surely spread to other superhero movies. It's quite evident here. A joke of some sort seems to be in almost every scene. But it played well. The…

  • The Iceman

    The Iceman

    ★★★½

    Solid story of a brutal mob killer who was also a devoted family man at home. Great performances all around.

    Michael Shannon is excellent. He somehow makes Richard Kuklinski a brutal thug but also believable as the romantic interest of Winona Ryder. Good, subtle acting by Shannon, and very good makeup changes his look over the years.

    Ray Liotta is always welcome in a Mafia movie, even if his mere presence invites comparisons between "The Iceman" and "GoodFellas" (one of…

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    As a big fan of the original, it's funny to see "Rocky Horror" on primetime television and treated as if it's virtually Shakespeare. The RHPC was a huge part of my teenage life and I love it, but I can also cheerfully admit that in many ways it sucks. The calculated camp is part of the appeal. So, there's a lot of conflicted feelings wrapped up in this particular film.

    I' m glad that there are a few moments from…

  • Chatterbox!

    Chatterbox!

    ★½

    The Citizen Kane of talking vagina movies. The 4K restoration was amazing.