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  • The Predator

    The Predator

    ★★½

    I want to rip out the spine of whoever edited this movie. When in the second and third acts I can’t even tell why characters are showing up where and when they are, or the final fate of characters whom I care about their final fate, that’s not a good look for your film’s editor. What a frustrating mess, especially since the first act is exactly what I was hoping for. Dammit, man.

  • Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever

    Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever

    ★½

    It's not "only movie to get 0% on rotten tomatoes" bad, but that doesn't make it not bad. It takes a million things I love and makes them as boring as possible.

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  • Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

    Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

    ★½

    This already feels like the most well-tread ground in the world, but this is one of the most frustrating movies I've ever watched. Its tone is inconsistent, swerving from serious senate debates to slapstick goofiness with Jar Jar. But its biggest problem is that it's flat-out amateurish filmmaking. Filmmaking with hundreds of millions of dollars behind it, but it's still amateurish, with a complete lack of direction for the actors, direction for the FX work or even an understanding of…

  • Total Recall

    Total Recall

    ★★★★★

    Few big-budget action movies work on multiple levels. Most are just brain-dead violence and shallow spectacle... Especially ones starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. At first glance, Paul Verhoeven's Total Recall fits that bill to a tee. Ultra-violent and full of one-liners, it seems like the last gasp of big-budget, ludicrous action-filled practical effects blockbusters before CGI took over. Verhoeven is too smart for it to be just that, though.

    By questioning the reality of what's happening to Quaid, he also brings into…