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  • Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau

    Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 19 Aug, 2016

    "Knowing the odds were stacked against me, I resorted to witchcraft." – Richard Stanley

    The only thing this hugely entertaining behind the scenes documentary is missing (apart from the people who are no longer with us), is a few words from Grade A asshole Val Kilmer. Having suffered through the execrable The Island of Dr. Moreau, watching the story of how it all went so spectacularly wrong almost entirely makes up for it. And Richard Stanley certainly is one wonderfully weird, strange dude. It's too bad this disaster more or less pushed him out of filmmaking.

  • Jason Bourne

    Jason Bourne 2016

    ★★★½ Watched 25 Jul, 2016

    There's a decent amount of post-Snowden suspense and thrills lurking in the latest entry in the Bourne saga. Too bad the most high octane moments are all shrouded in the impenetrable veil of Chaos Cinema, courtesy of a deeply squirrely cinematographer, twitched up on military grade caffeine. Doug Liman's Bourne movie, with its legible action, easily remains the best of the series.

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  • From Up on Poppy Hill

    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

    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…