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  • The Purge: Election Year

    The Purge: Election Year 2016

    ★★★ Watched 23 Jul, 2016

    Election Year is a bit of a step down, following from Anarchy's surprising greatness. Yet, there's still a lot of moments here that will satisfy any fan of this series; though, it also features the series' most silly technological moment since the son's stupid little robot from the first film.

  • Star Trek Beyond

    Star Trek Beyond 2016

    ★★★ Watched 23 Jul, 2016

    I had a lot of fun throughout moments of Star Trek Beyond. Unfortunately, in its attempt to move as far away as possible from the abysmal Into Darkness (always a great idea), the movie winds up being so fluffy and self-contained that it borders on inconsequential.

    Definitely a palate-cleanser kind of movie - I even considered knocking it up to three-point-five stars - but the problems with the script and some of the visuals just leave me unable to.

    At…

  • Barbershop: The Next Cut

    Barbershop: The Next Cut 2016

    ★★★ Watched 23 Jul, 2016

    I didn't expect Barbershop: The Next Cut to leave me thinking as much about it as I did. Lots of the humor didn't land for me, but there were quite a few moments that had me laughing out loud as well. Its depiction of gang violence in a community is a lot more nuanced than you might think; pretty solid all-around.

  • Ghostheads

    Ghostheads 2016

    ★½ Watched 21 Jul, 2016 2

    Not sure I've seen a movie trying to present itself as a loving tribute to fandom ever shoot itself in the foot so many times as this one does.

    The positives here (contributions to charity, escapism, etc.) are all buried under some Grade A cringe.

  • Ghostbusters

    Ghostbusters 2016

    ★★★½ Watched 20 Jul, 2016 2

    "You just got Holtzmann'd, baby!"

    Most of the complaints I've seen about Ghostbusters '16 have been that, like the original in some eyes, the finale can't compare to what came before it.

    To my surprise, I felt the exact opposite. After a fun opening scene, Ghostbusters '16 sputters like an old engine getting revved up for the first time in 27 years. But thankfully, with the introduction of Holtzmann and receptionist Kevin, the movie really takes off.

    But, again unlike…

  • Subspecies

    Subspecies 1991

    ★½ Watched 14 Jul, 2016 1

    If Subspecies has anything going for it, it would be the appropriate Romanian setting and the fact that the film takes itself fairly seriously in its attempt to tell an honest-to-goodness vampire yarn.

    Unfortunately, this thing is as dull as dishwater; after some charming stop-motion effects in the introduction with some little imp dudes that look like they jumped over from The Gate, the movie is ultimately a pretty yawn-inducing tale about some young women investigating "Romanian culture" who get…

  • Puppet Master II

    Puppet Master II 1990

    ★★½ Watched 14 Jul, 2016

    Oscar nominated effects artist David Allen directs this sequel, which basically takes the original plot (psychics holed up in a mansion are picked off one-by-one thanks to some deadly dolls) and tweaks it ever so slightly (this time it's paranormal investigators at the mansion, investigating the weird goings-ons.)

    Thanks to Allen, this time around the puppets look pretty marvelous and are quite a step up from the first picture; that is, outside of Leech Woman who doesn't even get to…

  • Rich Kids

    Rich Kids 1979

    ★★★★ Watched 13 Jul, 2016

    Rich Kids begins as an Altman-lite (he produced) take on divorce - both from the viewpoint of two children (new best friends) and their respective parents (and their respective flings.)

    For two-thirds of its running time, Rich Kids is easily the best film I've seen about divorce; the film digs into Franny and Jamie's relationship and feelings so knowingly and subtly that you're surprised you don't see this kind of depth in children characters much more often.

    The way these…

  • Ghosthunters

    Ghosthunters 2016

    Watched 13 Jul, 2016

    Asylum's mockbuster take on Ghostbusters in tag-line and ectoplasm use alone, this brainless and mostly humor-less take on the haunted house genre by-way of Saw is as bland and tasteless as you might expect.

    The acting is serviceable, thought the script is weak and underdeveloped. The production values amount to no more than what you'd expect from a pretty good modern halloween haunt, maybe cranked up a few notches. The movie itself is content to hop from check-box to check-box,…

  • 7 Days in Hell

    7 Days in Hell 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 13 Jul, 2016

    "The dicks just... dropped."
    *slide whistle*

  • Listen Up Philip

    Listen Up Philip 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 11 Jul, 2016

    Alex Ross Perry's bleakly funny look at one narcissist asshole writer, his encircling relationships and the world of literature.

    Not exactly an uplifting viewing, but I surprisingly loved the over-written narration which felt perfectly at home here in a story featuring Philip and Ike's protege-mentor relationship.

    Like Baumbach, Perry seems to have a real hold on how to tell stories about unlikable, self-centered dickweeds without the film feeling cheap and easy; for all of Philip's flaws, he's still a character…

  • Sing Street

    Sing Street 2016

    ★★★ Watched 10 Jul, 2016 1

    Carney continues to circle around the Once follow-up he deserves with this fitfully charming and entertaining juke-box style drama about a group of kids who get together to start a band, win the girl, and make it out of Ireland.

    It never fully commits to its fantasy version of reality, which ultimately winds up making the film feel uneven, but light still shines through with the (mostly) surprisingly well-written original songs and a surprisingly emotional relationship between brothers that is…