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  • Real 2013

    ★★★½ Added

    I went to Kiyoshi Kurosawa's science fiction drama Real with lowered expectations, having read negative reviews of it back when it first was released. Maybe the lowered expectations helped, or maybe it wasn't as bad as I was led to believe, but I quite enjoyed Real. It's not top level Kurosawa, but average Kurosawa is still a head or two above a lot of other directors!

    The movie ostensibly tells the story of a young couple, caught in an unfortunate…

  • Radio Free Albemuth 2010

    ★★ Watched 18 Oct, 2014

    Radio Free Albemuth is yet another failed adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel. Unlike most PKD adaptations though, this one was done by a die hard fan, and it hardly deviates from the original source material at all. That proves its undoing.

    Written and directed by newcomer John Alan Simon, Radio Free Albemuth is set in a totalitarian America, and tells the story of an underground resistance movement helped along by an extraterrestrial force orbiting the Earth (if you've…

  • Mystery Road 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 12 Oct, 2014

    Mystery Road is an Aussie crime thriller, a patiently paced neo-western, deeply steeped in atmosphere. Set in a small, remote town in the north of Australia (I don't think it was specified where, but it was shot in QLD), the movie begins with the discovery of a murdered young aborigine woman. The case falls to newly minted detective Jay Swan, himself an aborigine, and he immediately finds progress hard. Barely contained or just outright racism in the community from the…

  • Into the Sun 2005

    ★½ Watched 10 Oct, 2014

    Steven Seagal's Japanese is better than his acting. That about sums this mess of a movie up.

  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya 2013

    ★★★★½ Watched 04 Oct, 2014 3

    Isao Takahata’s take on Japan oldest surviving story has been a long time coming. The idea of doing an animated adaptation of the folk tale first surfaced back in the late ‘60s, during his stint at Toei Dōga, but it remained just that, a mere idea, until the late 2000s, when pre-production started – and restarted, after the style of initial pilot film was rejected. Reportedly produced over the course of seven years, The Tale of Princess Kaguya did not…

  • Gone Girl 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 30 Sep, 2014

    David Fincher’s latest movie is a tough one for me evaluate. Based on the bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn, who adapted her own novel for the screen, Gone Girl tells the story of married couple Nick and Amy – Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, perfectly cast, both excellent – and what happens when Amy one day suddenly disappears, thought kidnapped or murdered. That’s on the surface, and just the setup. What happens next can’t really be revealed here, as the…

  • Falcon Rising 2014

    ★★½ Watched 27 Sep, 2014

    A change of pace with tonight's movie – a DTV action flick starring Michael Jai White as an ex-marine who takes on a local yakuza faction down in Brazil. MJW is a charismatic actor with impressive fight choreography skills, but Falcon Rising is a bit of a mixed bag, a far cry from MJW's finest hour (Black Dynamite, as if you had to ask).

    The movie attempts to tell an actual story, rather than just throw a pile of cool…

  • Patema Inverted 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 20 Sep, 2014

    Patema Inverted reminded me of a lot of the current Young Adult novel adaptations: it generally seemed more interested in setting up a fantastical world and its rules, rather than focusing on creating compelling characters and telling any kind of substantial story. Consequentially, Patema Inverted is interesting, but also a little boring. The characters are all stereotypes, and it's hard to invest anything in them beyond a nominal interest, and the plot is a pretty paint-by-numbers genre affair.

    What the…

  • Somebody 2014

    ★★★ Watched 20 Sep, 2014 8

    I realize that hating on Miranda July is in vogue around here, but it's an antipathy I don't share. I quite like her first movie, in fact (The Future not quite as much). She's quirky, of course, but what artist-turned-filmmaker isn't? What it boils down is personal taste. I'd rather watch July's movies than suffer through, say, the works of Matthew Barney, for instance.

    Somebody is essentially an extended ad for an iPhone message app she's created, where the messages…

  • The Maze Runner 2014

    ★★★ Watched 15 Sep, 2014

    Here it is, another one of those movies that inevitably make me feel really old: based on a multimillion dollar bestselling YA book series I've never heard of. Rather than wizards or vampires, this one's another superficial spin on the dystopic future genre, entirely constructed out of the usual tropes, and not a lot of originality.

    It's not terrible, but it's also not wildly compelling, just something innocuous and unremarkable inbetween. Like so many other of these movies and novels,…

  • Into the Storm 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 09 Sep, 2014

    Essentially a "found footage" spin on the Twister formula.

    As a purely visceral experience, Into the Storm is pretty excellent stuff – at least the Dolby Atmos version I saw is. Definitely the closest modern equivalent to Earthquake in Sensurround that I've experienced so far!

    As a story, Into the Storm is strictly paint by numbers disaster pic stuff. But then again, nobody in their right mind goes in expecting a great story in something like this, right?

    I sure didn't. I just strapped in and enjoyed the ride. I recommend that you do the same!

  • The Bling Ring 2013

    Watched 06 Sep, 2014

    A disappointingly vapid film about vapid, obnoxious people I didn't care one whit about. It does have a pretty excellent soundtrack, as you'd expect from Sofia Coppola, but that's not exactly enough to carry a movie. Buy the CD instead.