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  • Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

    Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

    ★★★½

    Watching this again, I recognize the skill involved in the action sequences and overall tone. I still get nervous watching Ethan crawl around the Burj Khalifa, an overall masterful sequence in every way. I can’t help but notice that the story seems very straightforward and linear, propelled forward only by the team’s repeated failures to stop the bad guy—who also is given very little backstory or explanation, just that he’s “crazy” and a “nuclear radical.” In this way, I think…

  • Despicable Me 3

    Despicable Me 3

    ★★

    It’s ok, though pretty substandard by today’s standards for animation. Namely, there isn’t much heart, imagination, or insight to the film, but rather an attempt at silly jokes. Some of it works, such as the 80s obsessed villain, and the delightful idea of dance fights. Overall though, there isn’t enough creative ideas and humor to compensate for the lack of other aspects. It might just be time for Steve Carell to retire this accent—which would be a good thing for everyone.

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  • His Girl Friday

    His Girl Friday

    ★★★½

    The amount of words spoken per minute is astounding, eclipsed only by the joke ratio. This is a film that knows what it wants to be, and sets about achieving its goals at a rapid fire, frenetic pace. There’s so much going on, so much being said—many times all at once—so many one-liners and gestures and subtle wisecracks, that at times it’s difficult to keep track of it all. 

    A couple specific things I liked: I liked the female lead,…

  • Brooklyn

    Brooklyn

    ★★★★

    Balanced and touching story, served well by focusing more on concepts of immigration and home rather than a single relationship angle. The love storyline is sweet and relevant, though its intentionally set as a branch of a larger outline. Saoirse Ronan is outstanding as Eilis, showing a true depth of skill in her timing and range. Ronan has a quiet confidence and tangible presence on screen, and its exciting to think about both the career she’s already had and where…