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  • Casting JonBenet

    Casting JonBenet

    ★★½

    The title is deceptive -- I thought I was in for a documentary version of that Louis CK bit about casting the girl in Schindler's List who yells "Goodbye, Jews!" (only, in this case, casting a dead six-year-old beauty queen, which is even weirder and creepier) -- but it's not about casting JonBenet at all. Rather, it's about casting everyone else in the JonBenet story. And not even that, really, because the film they're casting is fictional, and the audition…

  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★★

    I slightly prefer this to the original, but I still find it to be an ineffectual, inert thing, like a very expensive, very tasteful gift that you want to appreciate but which you have absolutely no use for in your life. Westworld (the TV series) is the definitive AI story, and I have no interest in anyone else's take on the subject because it's all just sophomoric prattle to me, in comparison. And giving me three hours of Ryan Gosling and Her 2.0 and pretty weather patterns isn't the way to turn me around on that.

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  • Boyhood

    Boyhood

    ★★

    Exactly what I feared it would be: just a series of pointless vignettes loosely strung together, like a retrospective clip show from a TV series that lasted 12 seasons, punctuated by cultural and political signifiers of the times. And a poorly acted TV show, at that -- none of the young actors in this move can act, least of all "Sam," easily the most obnoxious child performance in recent memory (me, watching the end credits: "Oh, her name is Lorelei…

  • Foxcatcher

    Foxcatcher

    ★★

    Hard to believe that the creative force behind the exciting, energetic Moneyball is responsible for this flat, listless, perfunctory gossip column of a movie. You will not learn anything about either wrestling or John du Pont from this film, so the point of the whole endeavor is quite beyond me. Also, can we stop pretending that Steve Carell is a great actor? Watching old videos of du Pont made it even clearer to me how limited Carell is as an actor.