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  • 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.

  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 2015

    ★★★ Watched 20 Nov, 2015

    Thematically speaking this is a reasonably satisfying ending to the series, but due to a number of execution issues here I'd have to say that the first and last entries are also probably the two worst movies in the franchise. As with a number of other recent examples (Twilight, The Hobbit) at some point you really start to see the stretch marks from the screenwriters' effort to stretch one book into multiple films. You feel it here during most of…

Popular reviews

  • 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…

  • Spectre

    Spectre 2015

    ★★½ Watched 15 Nov, 2015

    I note with some irony that a Bond film called Spectre, after a bang-up job in the opening hour, begins to fall apart only after Bond finally reaches Spectre's headquarters. What had been a solid globe-trotting adventure becomes a turgid morass of confused villain motivations and subplots that have little to do with one another. Lea Seydoux is a charming Bond Girl, but the film later tries to saddle her with "love of Bond's life" gravitas, but without the proper…