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  • The Second Arrival

    The Second Arrival

    ½

    Why did I watch this?

  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

    Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

    ★★½

    Considering the caliber of director/writers credited on this, I was expecting something about 60% funnier and 82% weirder, but the edges are so carefully smoothed down by test-audience-flavored sandpaper that it barely registers two seconds after finishing. I mean, it's fine? The cast is fun? Karen Gillan is actually allowed to be funny in it (in one scene)? Ehh. TBH if you're jonesing for a kid's movie starring Jack Black that isn't School of Rock, pick Goosebumps instead. That has about five more jokes.

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  • Alice in Wonderland

    Alice in Wonderland

    ½

    Was Hook not a lesson to us all not to tamper with works of wonder? Tim Burton’s mystifyingly popular re-imagining of Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories does many things wrong even just on a surface level: that tedious Danny Elfman score; the weird obsession with violence against eyes; the torpor that infects everyone as they stand stiffly in front of green screens; the lazy cribbing from the Lord of the Rings films; introducing the amazing Mia Wazikowska to a wider audience…

  • Agora

    Agora

    ★★★★½

    Alejandro Amenábar’s ambitious, big-budget biopic of philosopher Hypatia – The Passion of the Christ for atheists – struggled to find distributors around the world, was dumped into cinemas with barely any publicity, and was criticised by Catholic groups in Spain for defaming Christianity: the polar opposite of Mel Gibson’s berserk Passion Play. Who knows why audiences didn’t connect with this tragic epic: it has the requisite visual wow-factor, moves at a clip, and is easily accessible.

    Perhaps no one wants…