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  • Scoop

    Scoop 2006

    ★★½ Watched 13 Jan, 2014

    Pondering if this film needed a different director or the same director years earlier. Someone who could sustain what was working, not let the energy flag, figure out the characters, not miscast Scarlett Johansson, etc. I think it needed Billy Wilder? What I liked: so much of its scenery has a dinky, artificial quality that feels like theater. The second scene, set on a boat in purgatory led by Death, makes no attempt to disguise that it was shot on…

  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

    Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa 2013

    ★★½ Watched 14 Nov, 2013

    I’m a fan of the Jackass films, but they have a tendency to coast between highs, which is why I’ve only given three stars to both of the ones I’ve logged on this site. Unfortunately, Bad Grandpa falls short of even that standard. Only a small percentage of Jackass has been about seeing how real people react to the stunts, so despite narrowing the focus onto one of the show’s few characters (the only other one I can think of…

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  • This Is 40

    This Is 40 2012

    ★★★ Watched 26 Dec, 2012

    Guess I take what seems to be the party line here. Sort of an inverse Funny People: dramatic material really strong, comedic material a bit too slight. It clearly wants a balance between drama and good comedy, and while it works tonally, and is funny, it just doesn't have the belly laughs of Apatow's previous work, and its absence is accidental, or at least misguided. Funny People didn't have many outrageous setpieces, but it was still hilarious. Here something's missing.…

  • Before Sunset

    Before Sunset 2004

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 27 May, 2013

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The odd thing about Before Sunrise is that even though it's a celebration of falling in love, getting to know someone, and exploring the new, it has a sort of pessimistic undercurrent. While the film is as infatuated with what it documents as Celine and Jesse are with each other, it never overlooks how transitory (to borrow a word from Celine) this night is. The overwhelming emotions enjoyed by these two characters are ultimately owned by the night. Perhaps they…