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  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

    ★★★★

    I know I’m not supposed to like these films, but there’s a lot I really enjoy about them, especially this one. It starts to betray Jackson’s worst tendencies (which become all the more pronounced later), but there’s a great energy to it, some terrific sequences, and Freeman and McKellen are terrific. I also appreciate how it weaves in the theme of home and belonging, a unifying theme that gives the film a spine and feels true to the content of the novel. The series will fall apart later, but I remember being optimistic after seeing this one, and still find it tremendously entertaining.

    Watched: Extended Edition

  • An American Werewolf in London

    An American Werewolf in London

    ★★★★½

    Oh man, I love this crazy, nihilistic, whiplash-inducing banger of a film.

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  • Downton Abbey

    Downton Abbey

    ★★

    A two-part Christmas special glued together - 40% drone shots, 60% furtive glances, 15% Maggie Smith and 10% narrative structure. Solely for fans, the dialogue is hysterically clunky, it looks like crap and the class, gender and racial politics are FUCKED. UP.

    It’s really not for the uninitiated. I mean, I could fill in the gaps, but I didn’t have a clue who anyone was or why I should care about the stupid upstairs/downstairs melodramatic problems of these mostly trash…

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    ★★★★★

    PIPPIN: I didn't think it would end this way.

    GANDALF: End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path. One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass... then you see it.

    PIPPIN: What? Gandalf? See what?

    GANDALF: White shores... and beyond. A far green country, under a swift sunrise.

    PIPPIN: Well, that isn't so bad.

    GANDALF: No... no, it isn't.

    There is a moment for every major character in The Return…