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  • Treasure Planet

    Treasure Planet

    ★★

    For years, I ignored this movie. I wish I'd continued to do so.

    PROS: John Silver is handled okay. He's a sympathetic figure, but without losing his villainous menace. His little shapeshifting pet is only mildly annoying.

    CONS: Jim Hawkins is dull. The other characters are dull. The 3D backgrounds clash with the 2D characters. The robot character is annoying. The story isn't engaging. I've never read Treasure Island, but I can safely say that the Muppets did it better--which makes sense. They had Tim Curry.

  • Upgrade

    Upgrade

    ★★★½

    I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen in the first 10 minutes, but I was wrong. The movie knew exactly what my expectations were and it knew exactly how to subvert them without insulting me. That's worth something these days.

    PROS: Cool fight scenes, reasonably good acting, surprisingly brutal gore, great twist.

    CONS: Largely paint by numbers, only really subverting expectations in the finale.

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  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★★★★

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

    It’s amazing to me that we still want to blame art for creating monsters, even after we’ve seen a film that shows us exactly how monsters are created—they are created by a monstrous society, a society that bullies, demeans, tortures, and humiliates those who think differently, or who have problems (mental or otherwise), or who can’t make ends meet, or who for whatever reason just don’t fit in. Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is such a person, and we spend 2…

  • Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones

    Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones

    ★★★★★

    I haven't laughed so hard in what seems like a goddamned eternity. This motherfucker had me rolling in the aisles. And I was at home, where there are no aisles. I had to actually build aisles to roll in them. That's how fucking funny this special was for me.

    Do I "agree" with everything Chapelle says in this special? I don't know. The beauty of comedy is that you don't always know where the exaggeration is. But I love that…