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  • Assassin's Creed

    Assassin's Creed

    ★★

    It's difficult to pinpoint exactly when and why and where this otherwise well made, well shot video game adaptation completely falls apart. From the get go things never quite feel right, and there's no discernible single thing to blame. Fassbender is good, as are the supporting cast but they never seem to believe a thing they are saying, the action feels weightless and without threat but it's all still Hollywood competent, that is to say, it's not Uwe Boll, and yet... it often comes close to feeling within the same cinematic wheelhouse. Boring and hard to recommend for anyone other than the curious.

  • Ghost in the Shell

    Ghost in the Shell

    ★★★

    The overriding feeling coming out of this overly-glossy anime adaptation is why does it exist? It's not a bad film, but that's only because of everything it takes from the superior source material, though truthfully the source material is far from infallible. At best it's a sometimes less dumb Aeon Flux, at middling a more dour Fifth Element at worst an intellectually stunted Blade Runner, in a nutshell it really can't carve out its own identity amongst various unflattering comparisons, but it's hardly the worst to come out of Hollywood in recent years.

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  • Inherent Vice

    Inherent Vice

    ★★★★★

    It's hard to see why so many viewers had so much trouble deciphering what is a fairly straightforward - though exceptionally told story. Joaquin Pheonix and Josh Brolin are truly phenomenal, and quite possibly the best they've ever been, meanwhile Thomas Pynchon's loquacious and gorgeous prose is intoxicatingly transposed and adapted by Paul Thomas Anderson's deft writing and direction. It's a frequently quirky, often hilarious and always captivating masterpiece.

  • Spectre

    Spectre

    ★★★

    The problems of Skyfall’s nostalgic winking and knowing epilogue are expounded and indulged upon in the follow-up which while in every way a visual and kinetic cinematic achievement is sorely, almost insultingly under-written to the point where it becomes frustrating to behold. James Bond succeeds only by frequent implausible coincidences and while tonally it wants to be dour and brooding and deep it too often goes to the outdated well of the series’ clichés which completely undermines its seriousness. Casino Royale struck the balance perfectly; Spectre is but a ghost of its greatness.