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  • Furious 7

    Furious 7

    ★★★★

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

    Early in "Furious 7", Paul Walker's character Brian O'Connor's son Jack throws a toy car. Brian picks up the car. He gives it back to his son. "Cars don't fly, Jack," he says. This is foreshadowing: in Brian's experience, cars don't fly. Cars will fly in "Furious 7". Cars will fly four times in three key scenes. Well, five times, if you count one of the times the cars fly as two times, because the car lands for a moment…

  • Unbroken

    Unbroken

    ★★

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

    I am writing this review in response to multiple stories I've seen in my Facebook news feed today. The headlines of these stories all used the word "snub", either as a noun or as a passive-voice verb. These stories are about the Oscar nominations. They are saying Oscar voters "snubbed" Angelina Jolie by not nominating her film for Best Picture or Best Director. Many of these stories point to a "lack of diversity" in Hollywood. Many of these stories make…

  • Kingdom of Heaven

    Kingdom of Heaven

    ★★★★★

    I've wanted to watch this movie for some time. Maybe two years ago Amazon recommended the (director's cut) Blu-ray to me. It was at a sale price of three dollars and forty-four cents. I don't understand how it was so cheap. I went ahead and added it to my cart. I finally watched it, tonight. Maybe I shouldn't have put it on at midnight! Oh well. I put it on at midnight and took my melatonin, thinking:

    1. If it…

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

    My friend Delicious McCune saw a preview for this film while Michael Kerwin and I were out getting popcorn before Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. He was so impressed with the opening seconds of said preview that he called me on the phone to tell me to "Hurry up and get in here." We missed the preview. He told us about it later. "It has pizza and snowboarding in it." We took his word for gold: we accompanied…

  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    ★★★★★

    I've seen this movie maybe a thousand times. I put the Blu-ray on almost every Saturday and let it loop while I worked for the duration of 2013 and most of 2014.

    It is the best Indiana Jones movie. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "The Last Crusade" are World War II films which flesh out details of Indiana Jones' character and history. "Temple of Doom" takes place before both of those films, yet debuted between them. "Temple of Doom"…

  • Hercules

    Hercules

    ★★½

    This was a weird, dumb, fun, little movie. It's a "what if Hercules . . . was *real*" reinterpretation based (controversially!) on a comic book. It's Hercules using his legends as leverage to scare his enemies and get him big mercenary money. It's Hercules as a sort of con man, without the heavy art of "The Brothers Grimm". It's Hercules with a social media manager (his nephew).

    This film has Ian McShane and John Hurt in it. Those two dudes…

  • Apocalypto

    Apocalypto

    ★★★★★

    "Apocalypto" is sheer power. It's razor sharp. It's a single foot chase stretched into a feature-length film. It's a filmed Disneyland attraction, for grown-ups. It's a chaotic tour of an interesting place, focusing on a character we learn just enough about to empathize with him. It's a concentrated delivery of all the promises of the earliest silent film: in styling this film, I wonder if its creators had made a conscious decision to use "Arrival of a Train at a…

  • Bicycle Thieves

    Bicycle Thieves

    ★★★★★

    What an elegant, effortlessly elaborate collection of elaborate shots, edits, characters, settings, and themes! It is so dense and so rich. It is alive.

    I know It's cliche to flop superlatives atop these films experts call one of "The Best": I can't help it here. This film is solid wealth.

    Its structure and flow are more than "modern for the time" -- it's modern forever. It's "real". This is the kind of film Tolstoy would have made, had Tolstoy been a filmmaker. This is videoliterature.