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  • Thor: Ragnarok

    Thor: Ragnarok

    ★★

    At least Ragnarok looks better than most of these things, though unfortunately the snark is off the charts, largely eliminating any possibility that this film might deliver some of the pulp poetry that makes superhero stories worthwhile.

    It is mostly funny, though, up until that monotonous action climax gets going.

  • The Bitter Tea of General Yen

    The Bitter Tea of General Yen

    ★★★★½

    "Have you ever read our poetry, Miss Davis? Do you understand our music? Have you ever seen our paintings of women walking among fruit trees? Where the fruit trees look like women and the women look at fruit trees?"

    Capra makes a Sternberg film. It's as sumptuous as it is complicated.

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  • Ronin

    Ronin

    ★★★★★

    Frankenheimer handles chaotic action with breathtaking energy and clarity; the car chases in this film are a master-class in action cinema. While Frankenheimer allows himself a few marvelous flourishes (the very best being a quick edit from blood splashed on a car window to an ice skater's red sweater), his direction is mostly understated here, but never less than precise.

  • Gone Girl

    Gone Girl

    ★★★½

    Twenty-four hours later, I'm still not at all sure what to make of Gone Girl, a messy, wild, nasty film that seems like the collision of four or five different films. For some, that might be a feature, not a bug (maybe I'll share that point of view with time).

    For now, the best I can say for Gone Girl is that its final act, which drops any semblance of verisimilitude in exchange for outrageous black comedy, is legitimately hilarious.