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  • It

    It

    ★★★★

    Basically... Stephen King's classic coming-of-age/Baby Boomer nostalgia horror novel is reconfigured and filtered through an all new nostalgic filter so that it can now be a 1980s Amblin adventure movie throwback.

    This is good. This is entertaining. This is enjoyable and, oh yes, those kids are going places. 

    Well... two or three of them for sure. The rest we'll see I guess. And I also guess I'm glad we live in a more "woke" age as of this writing so…

  • Cliffhanger

    Cliffhanger

    ★★★★

    Despite a boilerplate chase thriller plot, paper-thin one-note characters and genuinely inane dialog almost from start to finish, this still manages to be one of Stallone's best movies. 

    It's almost certainly his best action film. 

    There's something to be said for expert staging of carefully calibrated set pieces...orchestrated by Renny Harlin, who might not have done anything particularly noteworthy in quite some time but he was the toast of the town once upon a time, and he deserves credit for…

  • The Death of

    The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened?

    ★★★

    If nothing else, this crowdfunded documentary provides an intriguing look at the chaotic nature of big ticket franchise filmmaking. And it's entertaining.

    It is rather astonishing to consider all the time, effort, money and talent placed forth into a behemoth of a project, only to have it all implode.

    Would Superman Lives, starring Nicolas Cage as Superman and directed by Tim Burton have been a good movie? I don't know. We have no way of knowing. What this documentary does…

  • Christine

    Christine

    ★★★★

    Engaging, compelling and quietly devastating, this film gets its hooks into you almost entirely on the strength of a phenomenal lead performance by Rebecca Hall.

    She is astounding. And the movie works because it doesn't condescend...it doesn't feel the need to tug at the heartstrings with artifice. And it makes no excuses for the title character, which is evidently a very complicated...very troubled woman.

    There are no villains. She is a unique individual trying to get ahead in a world…

  • The Godfather: Part II

    The Godfather: Part II

    ★★★★★

    Artistically speaking, this is the superior film. Or, in any case, it feels like a grander achievement. Mainly because it is so textured, layered and ambitious; and it succeeds in its ambitions.

    But I'm not playing favorites. The first is a masterpiece of pulp that functions in the manner of a crowd pleasing entertainment. That makes it an easier watch. Hell... It's the one I've seen more too. All the "fun" stuff is there! It's got a hero's journey arc…

  • Detroit

    Detroit

    ★★★★

    In Strange Days, Kathryn Bigelow imagined a near future to provide a prescient commentary about our present. And now, with Detroit, she digs into our recent past for the same reason. Except this is not "prescient," this is NOW.

    It should be sobering and shattering to ponder how brief a time 50 years really is. And how watching this film 5 decades after the events dramatized therein took place is not a window into history, but a hard-hitting document of…

  • Dunkirk

    Dunkirk

    ★★★★

    Simply put: this is a staggering display of filmmaking craft. It should end the occasional criticism that - for all his sophistication and intelligence - Christopher Nolan is not really a good action director. Bullshit. He is. But if you want to say he’s experienced growth, you can…which means this is undoubtedly his most accomplished work as a director.

    I believe it was Stanley Kubrick who said you could never really make an anti-war movie, since images of combat are…

  • Fist Fight

    Fist Fight

    ★★

    I will give them props for trying to make a madcap comedy that's actually about something beyond its raunchy gags and constant spewing of four-letter invectives; and also for not really caring that the "hero" is such a shrill, unlikable twerp.

    But the things I'm giving it props for are also the reasons it doesn't really work. 

    First of all: Sure, it's "about" something. It's trying to say a few things about the broken educational system of the US, the…

  • War for the Planet of the Apes

    War for the Planet of the Apes

    ★★★★

    As would be expected, this reboot trilogy is brought to a close in a sobering and dramatic way. 

    We are given a sophisticated action/adventure summer blockbuster with terrific special effects, great characters, memorable performances and genuinely stirring emotion. And, as the credits roll, there is a good chance we are moved...maybe even to tears.

    But we are not surprised.

    Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of stuff going on in this thing, and most of it is great; and…

  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Spider-Man: Homecoming

    ★★★

    The goal here is very specific: Let's reboot Spider-Man...again...this time very directly aiming the demographic target at children and young adults; while integrating the character organically into the seemingly endless Marvel Movie Franchise.

    In that sense, the movie absolutely achieves its goals. This is very likely the movie Marvel Movie Fans would be expecting: a quality comic book adventure for general audiences, that follows the established template. It has the required highs, lows and final triumphs of a hero's arc…

  • Come and Find Me

    Come and Find Me

    I haven't seen it, but I'm sure the EPK for this thing has Aaron Paul or one of the other cast members, or filmmakers musing about "how well do you really know the people you love" or some other existential horseshit along those lines; all in an effort to grant the movie a lot more profound a significance than it could ever hope to have.

    It's well acted don't get me wrong. All those years of crying and grimacing in…

  • Sausage Party

    Sausage Party

    ★★★

    Only hardcore stoners like Seth Rogen and his friends could've come up with a bizarre, weird comedy such as this, which is basically two things: It's "hey let's make fun of Pixar, by having our cute anthropomorphic characters say four-letter words and fuck!" And it's also: "Hey... What if all that crap we eat when we have the munchies were actually alive? Wouldn't that be fucking weird?"

    And, well... Yes, this is funny.

    It's also insane.

    And it will amuse,…