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  • Predestination

    Predestination 2014

    ★★★★ Added

    The pacing and structure is definitely weird, as the first act is nearly an hour long, and the final two acts rush by at blinding speed averaging about twenty minutes each. But my patience was rewarded as everything finally ties together at the end and the secrets are revealed.

    Sure, some people will be able to guess some of the twists simply by the process of elimination, and at times the plot a little confusing and unbelievable, but I think…

  • Frank

    Frank 2014

    ★★★ Added

    The last fifteen minutes or so was a welcome relief from the aggressive quirkiness of the rest of the film. The humor was dropped, and the film finally took a look at its characters with a realistic eye. It was surprisingly affecting and effective. There are still some nice moments sprinkled about the first 4/5ths of the movie. It will be more appealing to aspiring songwriters, avant garde musicians, and those who enjoy quirky independent films. Other audiences might be left a bit unimpressed or even a little put off.

  • Whiplash

    Whiplash 2013

    ★★★★½ Added

    Excellent film. I was a little worried it would become "misery porn." Who wants to spend a full movie watching a dictatorial teacher attacking his helpless students? Not me. But, any abusive scenes are actually fairly short and few in number, and the abuse doesn't seem too outrageous or unrealistic.

    The story is solid and progresses in interesting ways all the way to the end. I liked the way the characters were well rounded. Student Andrew Nieman (Miles Teller) isn't…

  • Fury

    Fury 2014

    ★★★½ Added

    Two or three cheesy "war movie moments" here and there, but overall a very solid, entertaining movie. Nice pacing, excellent production value, and a good cast as well. The geography of the final climactic battle wasn't as well portrayed as the earlier battles, but admittedly the battle was at night and didn't detract from the film significantly. I'm so glad that "Fury" didn't feature shakycam and quick edits. They're bane of my existence, especially in action and war movies. The camera shakes because of the explosions, of course, but it's not the endless handheld camera that I was dreading.

  • John Wick

    John Wick 2014

    ★★ Added

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Every so often there's a popular and critically praised film that comes out, and for some mysterious reason, I don't feel it. "John Wick" is one of those films. So, I'd like to make a disclaimer I've made before on other popular films: you should ignore this review and just see (and enjoy) the movie for yourself. This negative review is definitely an aberration. Most audiences really enjoyed "John Wick".

    There are some elements to praise. It is quite refreshing…

  • A Good Marriage

    A Good Marriage 2014

    ½ Added

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    In 1977 novelist Stephen King published a slim novel titled "Rage" under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. "Rage" was about a school shooting, and was later reprinted under King's name once his Bachman moniker was revealed to be a fake. In 1997, in response to a string of real life school shootings, King ordered "Rage" to be taken out of print, thereby opening the door to discussion about the responsibility of a fiction writer to motivating people to carry out similar…

  • Horns

    Horns 2013

    ★★★ Added

    Better than the book, in my personal opinion. Still not great. For some reason the film omits Ig's encounter with his grandmother, one of the most disturbing and darkly funny scenes from the novel.

    The best scenes are Ig using the power of the horns, but those scenes are too few and far between. The rest of the story is an overplotted and convoluted mystery that just sucks most of the life from the film. Again, the mystery aspect of…

  • Dear White People

    Dear White People 2014

    ★★★★½ Added

    Excellent film. "Dear White People" is one of the rarest of things: a satire that doesn't feel the need to be funny or hateful every frame. Plus, it's a satire filled with three dimensional, intelligent characters. How many times a decade does that happen? It's a sad reminder of how many movies today require their characters to be moronic in order for their plots to move forward.

    The only flaw I can see is that sometimes it verges close to…

  • Saving Mr. Banks

    Saving Mr. Banks 2013

    ★★★½ Added

    Decent, fairly straightforward film. As much as I wanted to resist, eventually it won me over. It expertly re-creates the burnished, sunny, strangely artificial feeling of Disney live action films from the 1960's. For some, that may be a drawback. For others, it will have a familiar, nostalgic feeling already built in.

    At times the film is a little too cutesy, most especially with Paul Giamatti as Mrs. Travers' driver. The running joke of him messing up her name made…

  • Grand Piano

    Grand Piano 2013

    ★★ Added 2

    It's "Phone Booth" on a stage! Actually, that's not a good comparison, because, ludicrous as it was "Phone Booth" is a pretty good movie. "Grand Piano", however, is one of the most profoundly stupid films I've ever seen.

    The good parts: decent production value, it's always great to see Alex Winter on screen in anything, and Elijah Wood does a good job and works hard.

    The bad: did I mention that this movie was ridiculous? There's a terrible early scene…

  • Force Majeure

    Force Majeure 2014

    ★★★½ Added

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    For some reason this is being sold as a sort of comedy. I don't agree. If it is a comedy, it is very dark humor. It's mostly a sad and serious relationship drama about human behavior. There's a little bit of story fatigue during the third act as some of the built up momentum is lost, but luckily it avoids cheap story cliches and is overall a satisfying and mature watch.

    At times the film verges toward "sadness porn", but…

  • Damien: Omen II

    Damien: Omen II 1978

    ★★★★ Added

    I think "Damien: Omen II" is an underrated sequel. It's well made, with excellent miniature work, and a decent plot that builds on the original story without duplicating it.

    Jonathan Scott-Taylor is well cast as Damien, and the character is surprisingly approachable and sympathetic. William Holden is fine, but his character isn't the focus of the film the way Gregory Peck was in the first one. The train death is a little silly, but the elevator sequence is awesome.