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  • Red Nights

    Red Nights

    ★★★

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

    Hoop tober No. 4 #22

    Title check: there is a "jade executioner," as mentioned in the French title, played by Carrie Ng, who uses jade fingertip claws to flay and eviscerate her foes and/or victims. And there are scenes that take place at night, and the color red is indeed prominent: not only in the brilliantly colored red outfits of the mysterious executioner, but the blood that starts flows once she gets all executive on everyone's ass. So, yes, Red…

  • Chopping Mall

    Chopping Mall

    Hoop tober No. 4 #21

    I watched this for Barbara Crampton and because the movie got shouted out in that episode of Agents of Shield where Yo-Yo and Mack trade pop culture references about machines turning against their human creators. I came away doubting Mack's taste in movies. As for Crampton, she's obviously the most talented person in the cast, but her character is relegated to the realm of freaking out and making poor choices and she dies too soon.…

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  • Collateral

    Collateral

    ★★★★★

    Subgenres of the thriller genre:

    1. the thriller as art film, where the artist cannot stoop to actually thrilling his audience

    2. the thriller as philosophical rubbernecking, where we are invited to meditate upon the nature of evil — as severed heads roll our way

    3. the thriller as pastiche of esoteric pop-culture references

    4. the redundant thriller, either a remake of a good thriller or adaptation of a good novel, or both

    My highest praise of Collateral is that…

  • Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    ★★★★½

    Saw at Union Square, alone... yet not alone, because it's a movie that forcibly conscripts the audience into a collective experience of awe at the stunts and shenanigans and relentless escalation of suspense at every opportunity. I spent a decent portion of the movie with my hands on my head, partly poised to cover my face in dismay if necessary, partly trying to keep my skull from flying apart with the tension.

    The guy next to me was on a…