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  • 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.

  • The Greatest Showman

    The Greatest Showman

    ★★★★

    Complaining that this movie fails because it doesn't accurately portray what a scumbag PT Barnum was is like getting mad at Young Einstein for not depicting the 16-year-old scientist enrolling at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich.

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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…

  • Atlas Shrugged: Part I

    Atlas Shrugged: Part I

    ½

    The book Atlas Shrugged is a vile thing partially redeemed by the rubberneck value of seeing an author’s scarred psyche and bigotry transformed into a meticulously thought-out yet repellent philosophy that denies the existence of abstract beauty or humanity. Reading it is an alternately hilarious and disturbing experience, but it helps you understand the workings of the moneymen who arrogantly and incorrectly assume that their blind luck and ruthlessness in gaming the system is evidence of their Übermenschian superiority over…