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  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

    Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

    ★★½

    Please stop trying to make Dane DeHaan a movie star. It's not happening. His Valerian is the most egregious miscasting in years. Despite his age, he comes across as a boy playing a role written for a man. Every fantastical CG creation here is more convincing than DeHaan as the "handsome, intelligent, brave, galaxy-hopping bad boy" hero he describes himself as in his second scene (the exposition throughout is unforgivably clunky). And as scripted, he's also a major creep, constantly…

  • Twilight's Last Gleaming

    Twilight's Last Gleaming

    ★★★½

    My favorite part is when Lancaster is incensed at his partner's suggestion that there could be a sharpshooting little person waiting for them outside the compound: "There are no midgets in the United States Air Force!"

    Joking aside, this film is unfairly maligned. Too long for sure but thoroughly captivating in its ideological exploration. Expert use of split-screen. Probably ripe for a 21st century remake.

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  • Tusk

    Tusk

    ½

    Among the stupidest films I've ever had the displeasure of seeing. There are maybe fifteen minutes of competent filmmaking craft (which comprise the bulk of the trailer), and they expire well before the midpoint. Mostly, Tusk displays a complete lack of understanding in basic storytelling concepts: pertinent exposition, suspense vs. surprise, effective flashbacks, and, uh, story logic. Smith shows his hand far too early and then spends the remaining time putzing around with mundane eccentricity and narrative redundancy. While Tusk

  • Selma

    Selma

    ★★★★

    It's hard to believe the first major motion picture about Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn't made until 2014, but its arrival couldn't have come at a better time. To say race relations in the United States have been strained recently is a vast understatement. While much progress has been made since the days of the Civil Rights Movement, there is still plenty left to accomplish. Selma, with immense skill, illustrates that reality.

    The exclusion of opening credits immediately tells the…