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  • Escape from Tomorrow

    Escape from Tomorrow

    ★★

    Give it credit (and these two stars) solely for the ballsy filmmaking and no fear making the main protagonist an increasingly unhinged and unlikeable creep. Escape from Tomorrow really loses steam, though. For the most part it just treads water, grasping at further weirdness late with some lame sci-fi stuff and then finishing with a quasi-deus ex machina that got me feeling they didn’t really know how to end it.

  • Shin Godzilla

    Shin Godzilla

    ★★★★½

    Where did this come from!?

    I’ve been a Godzilla fan since I was a little boy. I gravitated to it more than other sci-fi. There was just something about the natural menace of the creature. Even as a kid the central character theme of our hubris coming back to destroy us was so lucid. Of course the monster took on different forms over time until it became a sort of vigilant anti-hero, which was just plain weird but allowed for…

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  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

    ★½

    Goat meal for T-Rex? Check. Crawl under tables to avoid raptor? Check. Money-grubbing dickhead gets eaten by aforementioned T-Rex? Check. So you’ve got your callbacks galore, you’ve got your nostalgia. You’ve got your efficient-but-completely-perfunctory $150 million-whatever action sequences that will soon be forgotten (not one moment nearly as iconic as anything in the original). You’ve got your open ending (Rise of the Planet of the Dinosaurs?) for further sequels. So what are we left with exactly? Deus ex machinas aplenty? Chris Pratt phoning it in already?

    Yeah, sounds about right.

  • Ready Player One

    Ready Player One

    ★★

    Nostalgia was originally defined as a mental condition of longing for one’s lost homeland. American nostalgia is quite a bit different. Steven Spielberg has said this is his thing and oh what a seductive, reductive thing it is.

    The problem with films like Ready Player One is that if you actively engage cognitively with the presented material and your opinion ends up suspicious, you’re either called a joyless cynic or, even better, you’ve committed the mortal sin of “taking it…