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  • Citizen Ruth 1996

    ★★★★½ Watched 28 Jun, 2014 3

    There's a vicious humor to Citizen Ruth, Alexander Payne's first feature, the kind he left behind after Election. None of the characters are likable, but they don't have to be. Laura Dern's pregnant, sealant-huffing Ruth wants an abortion but finds herself trapped between pro-life advocates who want her to keep the baby and pro-choice advocates who want to make sure she can get rid of it. Both groups refuse to see her as a real person, lost in the race…

  • The Raid 2 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 26 Jun, 2014

    I was that guy, the one human being who didn’t like The Raid: Redemption. I found its elaborately choreographed action impressive on a technical level, its fight scenes much better than those in films I actually enjoyed; but its video game plot and almost total lack of characterization left me cold. I love a good dude-snaps-another-dude’s-neck-against-a-door-frame as much as the next guy, but I almost skipped The Raid 2.

    I’m glad I didn’t.

    With The Raid 2, Gareth Evans has…

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  • Ruby Sparks 2012

    ★★★★½ Watched 24 Oct, 2012 4

    I've written ten screenplays and several short films. The most widely read script of mine has been read by about half-a-dozen people, but I still consider myself a writer first and foremost. As you're writing, your work is solely yours. Once you've finished, it remains yours. But as soon as you release it into the world, as soon as you share it with one friend or colleague, that changes. It doesn't belong to you anymore. Sure, if your work is…

  • Donnie Darko 2001

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 05 Apr, 2012

    A lot of people seem to be backing away from Donnie Darko nowadays, distancing themselves from it like it's a particularly painful memory, an unwelcome flashback to their high school days. Well, maybe so. But don't blame that on the movie. I'm not going to give it credit for profundity that it doesn't have, except that it kind of does. A mysterious puzzle of a film, but pleasingly straightforward about its oddness. Gyllenhaal, Barrymore, and Swayze doing the best work of their careers.