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  • Creed

    Creed 2015

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 28 Dec, 2015

    At my first viewing I found this a good-but-not-great sports movie, one that hit a lot of familiar beats but did them well. At a second viewing (so the wife could see it), something about it REALLY improved and now it's edging closer to great. Perhaps having seen it once through and knowing what the themes are allowed me to focus on Coogler's technique, which looks much more impressive upon second glance -- not just the superlative fight scenes (including…

  • The Night Before

    The Night Before 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 23 Nov, 2015

    Unexpectedly satisfying. As with his 50/50 I'm again impressed by Jonathan Levine's ability to balance juvenile stoner humor with genuine emotional content. This film is much shaggier and less focused than that one, so I wouldn't say it's an improvement, but still pretty consistently enjoyable. Seth Rogen gives his funniest individual performance in quite a while (maybe since The 40 Year Old Virgin?), and Anthony Mackie continues his recent trend of fitting himself, chameleon-like, into any ensemble. Not terribly deep, but it's funny and feels complete as a story. I won't complain about that.

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  • Linda Linda Linda

    Linda Linda Linda 2005

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 17 Jun, 2012

    A fantastic little story about teenage girls who try to learn a few rock songs in advance of a school festival. It doesn't sound like much on paper, but it is beautifully executed on screen: characters who are quirky and unique but have depth, an unobtrusive and bare-bones filmmaking style that nevertheless seems to always find director Yamashita picking the right shot, and fantastic music. Listen to the title track as performed by the film's actresses and as performed by…

  • Congo

    Congo 1995

    Rewatched 19 Nov, 2015

    Combing through the archives of the How Did This Get Made? podcast has me watching some crummy movies lately, just to remind myself of what they are talking about. And so we get to Congo

    I have vague memories of reading the Michael Crichton novel in high school. Like most of Crichton's work it's all based in silly pseudo-science, but there is always a relentless narrative propulsion to the story that keeps you turning pages; given that, you can see…