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  • The Nut Job 2014

    ★★½ Watched 13 Apr, 2014

    An entirely average animated feature, The Nut Job has a handsome exterior: it's well animated, has fine character design, and just flat out looks pretty good. It is, however, let down by a generic script that consistenly fails to capitalize on its central premise, or to build up fully rounded characters, and in the end it amounts to little more than a diverting, but ultimately forgettable 90 minutes. Unfortunately.

  • The Protector 2 2013

    ★½ Watched 08 Apr, 2014

    Cgi and green screens are truly the death of real action cinema.

    Tony Jaa's elephant is kidnapped again, and he sets off to get it back. Unfortunately, what follows is little but a chronicle of Jaa's sad decline, from the crazy stunt heights of Ong Bak and Tom Yum Goong, to the current cgi-festooned abomination.

    The digital safety net effectively neuters any sense of danger, and pretty much kills Tom Yum Goong 2 stone dead. A single fight, about 40…

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  • From Up on Poppy Hill 2011

    ★★★★ Rewatched 13 May, 2012 9

    The world was very unkind to Goro Miyazaki when he took the unexpected leap from landscape architect and museum manager to director in 2006. Tales from Earthsea had its fair share of weaknesses and outright faults, but the yardstick by which the younger Miyazaki was measured and found lacking was downright unfair and cruel. The recent documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi contains a musing from a food critic that's strikingly relevant: 86 year old Jiro is still in charge of…

  • The Hunger Games 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 21 Mar, 2012 2

    Essentially Battle Royale for the Twilight crowd, The Hunger Games makes the leap from the pages to the big screen with the majority of the details intact. Sticking so closely to the source material means that the movie also shares the novel's strengths and weaknesses.

    First and foremost, Katniss remains an interesting, reluctant rebel character (Jennifer Lawrence, excellent), while the rest of the cast of characters veer more towards simple archetypes, sometimes wrapped in colorful costumes, sometimes not. The dystopic…