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  • Message from the King

    Message from the King

    ★★

    Peter Griffin would no doubt approve. The sort of film that routinely used to star Steven Seagal back in the late 80’s/early 90’s: a would-be ass kicker with a humorless lead out for justice or marked for death or whatever. Boseman is suitably intense but there's scarcely a film around him. Surface-level diversity (main character is both black and a foreigner, frequently running afoul of civil institutions and the powerful/wealthy) remains frustratingly under-explored, instead trotting out the proverbial hooker with…

  • The Discovery

    The Discovery

    ★½

    Exposition dump: the movie. Sundance sci-fi so toothless, drippy and navel-gazing you’ll swear Brit Marling was involved. Spectacularly miscast (Segel isn’t credible as a brilliant doctor or as a blood relative to Redford/Plemons) and frequently victim to its own clunky plot mechanics, the film is a would-be puzzle box with no urgency or compulsion to be solved. Whatever big questions it entertains about the afterlife are ultimately secondary to being yet another film about the guy who just can’t quite…

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  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    ★★

    When I was a little kid, growing up solidly middle class, I had a lot of toys. But my parents, mindful of the expanding clutter that comes from the accumulation of “stuff,” presented me with an ultimatum: if I went long enough without playing with my toys then I’d have to get rid of them before I could get any new ones. They didn’t care what I did with them: throw them out, sell them at a yard sale, give…

  • Baby Driver

    Baby Driver

    ★★½

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

    A crushing disappointment really*, all the more so as I appear to be out of step with the rest of the internet on its lousiness. Wright’s way too accomplished a filmmaker for this to be a total wash but the film strives for a tricky confection of tones and what it arrives at is curdled. If HOT FUZZ took a comical premise and populates it with deadly serious characters, this tries the inverse, setting the film in a world of…