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  • Beauty and the Beast

    Beauty and the Beast

    ★★★½

    Beauty and the Beast is a fun nostalgia trip, but there’s not much else to it. It becomes abundantly clear rather quickly that the story fits animation much better than live-action, but this remake at least has a good sense of fun. The musical numbers are unfortunately staged merely adequately, and the singing quality of the cast leaves much to be desired.

    Luke Evans and Josh Gad steal the show, although they are greatly helped by always being in live…

  • A Dog's Purpose

    A Dog's Purpose

    ★★

    A Dog's Purpose is about as well-paced as an episodic tear-jerking existential drama about a reincarnating dog can be. The oddity of that descriptor tends to be the film's best aspects; when it embraces the weirdness and goes all out, it feels somewhat special. However, the presence of Josh Gad's voiceover often undermines this, making subtext text and being generally calculated in its cuteness. The emotions in this film are pretty cheap, but they work, and the dogs are cute.…

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  • The Nice Guys

    The Nice Guys

    ★★★★½

    The Nice Guys is ridiculously fun. There's no other way to describe it. It's a solid two hours of non-stop enjoyment, even with a couple of flaws here and there. Before talking about those issues though, let's dwell for a bit on what makes this a truly brilliant summer blockbuster - or at least, what would make it so if audiences had embraced it. Instead, it will have to be happy with being an underseen gem.

    The fun of The…

  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★★

    La La Land is a wonder. After a brilliant mainstream debut in Whiplash, Damien Chazelle has matured impressively. He directs with a precision of a orchestra conductor. His films feel like the jazz that they represent, spontaneous, energetic and pleasant. The way he stages the musical numbers never fail to make you smile, and he brilliantly constructs the film to drop out the singing again and again, just making you feel the beautiful music.

    Stone and Gosling are both marvelous…