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  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road 2015

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 09 Jan, 2016

    Now on HBO. Still my number one film of last year and a classic. Charlize Theron is the epitome of why I could watch women be badass forever.

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 18 Dec, 2015

    As I settled into my seat, my wife alongside me, the expectations were high. Early buzz was positive, and despite it being opening day proper (the Friday), I was cautiously optimistic. Here was a film universe that had impacted the shape of my early imagination and wonder, and to a large degree, perhaps my own being. There is no other fictional set of characters and setting that have ingrained themselves as deep as the original trilogy of Star Wars did.…

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015

    ★★★★ Rewatched 03 Jan, 2016 1

    Yep, still pretty great.

    Yep, even better than the first time.

  • Whiplash

    Whiplash 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 17 Jan, 2015 2

    “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘good job’.”

    Bejesus! My heart won't stop pounding for the next three days.

    Intense, intense and intensity.

    I'm partial to this film, perhaps more so, because aside from being a musician, my primary instrument has been drums. I'm not a jazz drummer (rock has been my focus), but as a lifelong percussion enthusiast, all forms of drumming have appealed to me — jazz in particular, especially done here,…

  • Gone Girl

    Gone Girl 2014

    ★★★ Watched 17 Dec, 2014

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Fincher is at his usual here — his atmosphere, cinematography, moody score from the always excellent Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and a great ensemble cast that's at their best.

    Now, whether the above is a good or bad thing, it's almost expected from Fincher. I'm getting the feeling that a Fincher film is now just that. I found myself partially distracted by the craft of Fincher — his consistent tone and style — that it bothered me just a…

  • Her

    Her 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 19 Jan, 2014

    'Her' is a fantastic film. A soulful meditation on our lives, past, near and future and our ever-evolving relationship with technology.

  • The Wolf of Wall Street

    The Wolf of Wall Street 2013

    ½ Watched 30 Jan, 2014

    Fist. Eggplant.

  • The Martian

    The Martian 2015

    ★★★ Watched 02 Oct, 2015 6

    Show don't tell vs. show your work.

    I had mixed feelings going into this. On one hand, The Martian is one of my favorite books in recent years. On the other hand, while Ridley Scott can and has been brilliant, in recent years, his lack of restraint in direction has led to the excess of messes that are Prometheus and Exodus: Gods and Kings (clearly he was going through some kind of phase there).

    But: I thought, if all Scott…

  • Drive

    Drive 2011

    ★★★★ Watched 22 Oct, 2011

    80s nostalgia cues aside, this is one hell of a film from Nicolas Winding Refn. If you go in not knowing what to expect, then you'll be rewarded. And it's best if you know as little as possible before seeing it.

    Michael Mann gets namedropped when people see this and it's not surprising why. But Refn has a quicker, faster pulse than Mann does and ultimately, the film stands on its own easily.

    A little haunting, in a good way.

  • Star Wars

    Star Wars 1977

    ★★★½ Rewatched 08 May, 2015

    Part of the Despecialized Edition.

    It's great watching these films again in the way I first saw them as a child, but with all the added benefits of the various clean-ups over the decades.

    A New Hope still holds up well, and it's remarkable that the balance and restraint George Lucas shows here is galaxies far away from what has come past this original trilogy and the heavy-handed edits since.

    The cast really has great chemistry that is further enhanced…

  • The Lego Movie

    The Lego Movie 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 08 Feb, 2014

    Wow. I didn't expect this to be anywhere near as good as it is.

    In fact, it's almost a perfect film.

    I felt bad for all the children who were watching it — all the little jokes and gags for adults, but then realized that was the brilliance of The LEGO Movie — it was made for everyone. The plot and sequencing is perfect for all ages to enjoy and the older you were, the more you could pick up…

  • Jurassic World

    Jurassic World 2015

    Watched 20 Jun, 2015

    (Downgraded to 1 from 2.5 after further reflection, and rewatching Mad Max: Fury Road)

    The good: Chris Pratt, the Park/World that John Hammond dreamed about come to life, BD Wong still playing slightly sinister characters, nerd control room hero guy, Bryce Dallas Howard's eyes, Life With My Four Raptors.

    The Bad: who-was-that-person-oh-they-died, the commercial and yet very realistic world we live in driven by evil corps., the templated plot (still all about the raptors, the control room and the main…