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  • Halloween

    Halloween

    ★★★½

    A slick, homage heavy slasher inharmoniously weaved with a family trauma drama. Laurie Strode is great, but the conception of where she is in this story, figuratively and literally, means they had to invent a groan worthy devil-ex-machina device to reunite her with The Shape, and it all comes off a bit clunky. Still, lots to love. Michael's Halloween night reaping of Haddonfield and John Carpenter's renovated score and the last 10 minutes or so are all perfect.

  • Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

    Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

    ★★

    I love the obi-wan sleuth stuff and some of the pulpy world building and scenery is stunningly beautiful. Most everything else falls flat, and the movie ultimately sinks under the weight of a budding love story that is a stifled, lifeless facsimile of real people falling in love. Their chemistry is so unnatural you can feel the impotence rising.

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  • Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    ★★★★½

    McQuarrie might just be the best engineer of long, propulsive action set pieces currently working. Truly astonishing, each and every one. I was also really impressed by all the little nods and story threads seamlessly weaved in from the other Missions. And beyond the thrills, the way they dug into Ethan's motivations, beautifully defining his raison d'être and his moral compass in a way we haven't really seen before...it was surprisingly moving. I loved it.

  • Warcraft

    Warcraft

    ★★½

    Awesomely dorky depictions of magic aside, this is a garish, confused, lumbering mess of a movie. And yet it doesn't feel like the typical summer blockbuster, not like it was forged on the assembly line of safe bets for the summer audience. It embraces its niche roots audaciously, and it has a real conscience and intelligence hidden beneath the vibrant digital wankery. It might fail at being a good movie, but it at least tries to be a different one.