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  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★★½

    Many fantastic visual moments and weighty emotional scenes, well acted and thoughtfully composed, but damaged by an overlong running time and burdened with a subplot that stalls the movie dead for far too long, diluting the impact of subsequent scenes. The decision to jettison many of the good aspects of The Force Awakens is puzzling; the decision to waste time on irrelevant stories and characters is disappointing (though may tie into Johnson’s upcoming trilogy); the sheer volume of Empire references…

  • El Camino Christmas

    El Camino Christmas

    Not funny, not tense, not particularly satisfying, and featuring a charismatic black hole as the protagonist, this movie is an absolute slog, from the turgid, lifeless first half to the eye-rolling climax. A motley but interesting cast is wasted on predictable, cliched characters (oh, Alba’s journalist is heavily pregnant? I wonder how that will pay off by the end...) that are all unlikeable and unbelievable. Dax Shepard delivers the film’s few, reluctant laughs, and Tim Allen - in what appears…

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  • Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman

    ★★★½

    Charismatic performances from Pine and the magnetic Gadot, combined with great music and strong action scenes, elevate an otherwise unexceptional superhero movie with a boggy first act, a tedious CGI showdown, and an unnecessary frame story. Gadot may single-handedly redeem the DC brand in the hearts of cynics after years of mismanagement by Warner Bros. (Add a star if you're somehow not yet fatigued by the glut of superhero movies afflicting our screens.)

    Gets an extra half a star for…

  • Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond - Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton

    Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond - Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton

    ★★½

    An engaging chronicle of Jim Carrey’s obnoxious excesses in method acting. For viewers in countries/generations unfamiliar with Kauffman, this plays out like a bizarre, self-justified indulgence of Carrey’s weirdness, to the detriment of those around him at the time. But it’s still fun to watch. 

    Carrey, who became huge overnight but never finished high school, is a good example of the undereducated, overachieving Hollywood stereotype - the kind of person who ends up buying into Scientology, or believing they are…