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  • The Croods

    The Croods

    ★★★

    Granted, my expectations were pretty low, but this surprised me in a good way nevertheless. Yes, it was formulaic, yes it relied too heavily on outlandish physical humor, yes the characters were stereotypes. But geez louise if it didn't have a lot of heart. Its emotion felt genuine, if that makes sense, despite its shortcomings. And its primary message about embracing change even though it's terrifying is a really good one. And the animation is quite appealing, particularly the colorful,…

  • The Butler

    The Butler

    ★★★½

    I *loved* this movie when I thought it was more closely based on a true story. I figured some events might have been tweaked but not that most of the movie was made up. Made it feel more contrived and like I was being emotionally manipulated. There's a world of difference between "based on a true story" and "inspired by true events." Be straight with me right up front. It was still a good movie-watching experience, and the lead acting performances were pretty stellar.

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  • Seven Samurai

    Seven Samurai

    ★★★★★

    I had no idea I would enjoy this as much as I did. There was action, philosophy, drama, and humor, and it all flowed together so naturally. I have not seen a film this good in a very long time!

  • eXistenZ

    eXistenZ

    ★★★★

    JJL kills in the film. I saw it years ago and forgot how good she is. This sort of thing doesn't seem so unusual now that the world has the Matrix and Inception and all sorts of reality-bending films. But when this came out, the Matrix had been in theaters for only a few weeks and had yet to make the worldwide impact (and spawn countless imitators) it has and continues to make. Existenz was not quite as easily accessible,…