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  • Bad Samaritan

    Bad Samaritan

    ★★½

    Not good, but a lot of fun by the end of it. First, it was filmed here in Portland, which I did not know beforehand. Significant portions were filmed around PSU, where I went for two years. There were also shots near where I live, out along the Clackamas River in a small town named Carver where parts of Twilight were filmed. We drove on that same road just three days ago. All of that was very exciting.

    Even though…

  • Scream 4

    Scream 4

    ★★

    If Scream 4 had started with its final half-hour, and spun from there into uncharted territory, it might have been onto something interesting, but the slog required to get to its provocative climax is wearying. Although it begins with an initially cute self-referential all-star sequence (this one is self-aware about being self-aware!), Scream 4 lays bare the problem plaguing this franchise, and particularly its sequels: its flashy knowingness about slasher movie tropes is inconsequential, making no effect on the killers’…

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  • Birdman

    Birdman

    ★★

    I simply didn't care. Great acting, particularly by Ed Norton and Emma Stone. Early on Stone's character lets loose with an eviscerating speech that summed up my feelings exactly. Then it kept going for over an hour.

  • Krampus

    Krampus

    ★★★½

    After hearing and reading in review after review that Krampus was a fun '80s-ish horror romp not unlike Gremlins, I was not expecting something this unremittingly dark and bleak. Still, I far prefer Daugherty's eclectic and unnerving brand of visual creepiness to the canned horror of James Wan and Blumhouse, and Krampus serves up a quality parade of Christmassy ghoulishness. It just isn't an experience you're likely to be smiling about afterward, and at several points I questioned my choice to invite my 12-year-old daughter to watch it with me. And she's been watching Gremlins since she was six.