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  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

    Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

    ★★★★

    Haters gonna hate, but count me solidly pro-Valerian. Joyously imaginative science fiction. Not enough films revel in their world-building the way this one does. Showers of pearls, an inter-dimensional market, shape-shifting strippers, the city of Alpha itself!

    Sure, DeHaan is the weak link but Delevigne shines as Lauerline (this really should have just been called Valerian and Lauerline). She's charming, fresh-faced, and cool/gorgeous. Erases her weak turn in dreck like Suicide Squad from my mind. I think she has tons of potential as an actress.

    Also, emotionally/thematically, Laureline's final love speech broke through my temperamental cynicism. I found it genuinely moving.

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    ★★★½

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  • The Thing

    The Thing

    ★★★★★

    Carpenter's film is such a wonderful science fiction horror, building the suspense to a perfect ending. The setting is sublime in its isolation. The creature effects remain deeply disturbing and uncanny. I can't think of another film that captures Lovecraftian horror as well. A truly great film that stands up to repeat viewings.

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel

    ★★★★½

    This wonderful film is the closest Wes Anderson has come to making an epic. Part-The Rules of the Game and part-The Great Dictator, it's a paean to the gentile Old World of Anderson's imagination, yet notes the impossibility of the dream and the contributions of diversity and immigrants. Ralph Fiennes' M. Gustav is a remarkable creation and one of the most well-realized comic characters in recent cinema.