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  • Game Night

    Game Night

    ★★★½

    GAME PLAN is a total and complete comedy winner. Common comedy elements abound in GAME PLAN, but very few don't work. Firstly, there is no comedic headliner. So the film's laughs never lie in the trappings of one actor's standup routine or brand of schtick. The strongest resume as a comic actor lies with the underrated Jason Bateman whose comic efforts (of his performances that I've seen, at least) lean toward the smart, 'straight' guy to someone else's humorous foil.…

  • Avengers: Infinity War

    Avengers: Infinity War

    ★★★

    After an offspring-influenced rewatch, I reaffirm that INFINITY WAR is an impressive narrative exercise and cinematic juggling act.  But it is also a noisy smorgasboard where just as many scenes reek as do rock.

    The New York attack and the Iron-Man/Dr. Strange/Spidey/Guardians takedown of Thanis are particular fun rides, but the Wakanda battlefield might just as well be a bland-o digital war-zone sequence from the final uninspired invasion in the last HOBBIT.  It is also fun to see the creativity…

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  • Heat

    Heat

    ★★★★½

    Michael Mann's HEAT is an absolute classic. HEAT dissects the nature of both an advanced heist and the high-level investigations that bring them down through the minutiae of the details in the planning. But further, HEAT hones in on the characters involved in an almost Altman-esque fashion. Subplots and events in the lives of minor characters are all important and add to the Mann's mosaic.

    HEAT also features a master craftsmanship with its blend of music, sound, and cinematography in…

  • Se7en

    Se7en

    ★★★★★

    David Fincher's SE7EN is not just a visionary mood-piece or a first-rate detective-serial-killer showdown. SE7EN is also a sociology and social commentary with two underrated character studies at the core.

    In every way, SE7EN sets itself up as a dutiful noir investigation film with a grimy edge. Pitt and Freeman--young detective and new detective--emotional and cerbral. The case that unfolds with a clear pattern. But at every turn, SE7EN sheds any cliched trappings or genre expectation and is its own…