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Bryan has written 579 reviews for films during 2014.

  • Synecdoche, New York

    Synecdoche, New York

    ★★★★★

    Kaufmann does the surreal psychological meaning of life thing again, but this time it's less entertaining and more glum and the movie eventually folds in on itself like all of his movies have threatened to do but never did. Still more interesting than 98% of everything else out there and Hoffman is awesome. Check it out.

  • Sword of the Beast

    Sword of the Beast

    ★★★★

    
Just another great samurai movie with some splendid outdoor photography.

  • Superman II

    Superman II

    ★★★

    This review is of Richard Donner's directors cut: There's an awful lot of new stuff in this version to make it worth checking out, but it's still the same silly movie. Maybe less silly than before, but still pretty silly. Perhaps only as silly as it's supposed source material. Script by Mario Puzo (!)

  • The Stratton Story

    The Stratton Story

    ★★★

    
Plenty of gooey sap on this baseball bat yarn with James Stewart in fine form. It used to be a favorite of mine when I was younger, but now it's overly-sentimental. Script by Douglas Morrow (Jim Thorpe All American) and Guy Trosper (Jailhouse Rock, One-Eyed Jacks)

  • Steal This Film

    Steal This Film

    ★★★

    Informative pro-file sharing documentary that challenges the corporate mindset and highlights the Pirate Bay raid and is of course free to download: www.stealthisfilm.com

  • State of the Union

    State of the Union

    ★★★★

    
Terrific performances can't save this horribly stage-bound film, but a movie that presents real politics with real political opinions is such a rarity that the movie is worthwhile just for that. Consider that in today's political films it's never even stated if the politicians are Democrat or Republican. This is a great primer for more complex political films like The Last Hurrah and The Manchurian Candidate. In fact, Angela Lansberry rocks as a younger version of the same character she…

  • Star Trek

    Star Trek

    ★★

    Hollywood's pop culture cannibalism reaches new heights in this community theatre version of "Star Trek", where a bunch of kids pretend to be people we know they're not. Parts of it are clever, but much of it is very corny. It wouldn't have surprised me if Leslie Nielsen popped up asking Sulu if he liked gladiator movies.

    The filmmakers obviously just want to have fun and I could go along with it. There's some good humor and some forced humor…

  • Star Spangled Rhythm

    Star Spangled Rhythm

    ★★★

    Large-scale variety show with some pretty hilarious moments between the star cameos. A few dull spots, but mostly entertaining Hollywood fluff that introduces an energetic Betty Hutton to the world.

  • A Matter of Life and Death

    A Matter of Life and Death

    ★★★★★

    Of all the weird movies I like, this is one of the best made and most unusual. I won't bother much with the strange propaganda story, but I recommend it to everyone seeking an artsy diversion - no... a lavish adult fantasy.

  • Gangs of New York

    Gangs of New York

    ★★★★

    Scorsese revels in recreating New York during the Civil War, but the revenge storyline is weak and despite all the historical details and rich language, the main character is just not that interesting. Brooding little Leo doesn't have a chance against Daniel Day Lewis, who eats scenery for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and whose boisterous performance matches the scale of the film. There is one single-take shot that might be the best Scorsese has ever done: Irish immigrants come off…

  • Jodorowsky's Dune

    Jodorowsky's Dune

    ★★★★

    The 1970s was an era of some of the most visionary films ever made, and Alejandro Jodorowsky was one of the most visionary and bizarre after making El Topo and Holy Mountain. This documentary recounts his insane attempt to film Dune in a time before Star Wars, and it comes across as the most visionary of all visionary films - more than 2001, Apocalypse Now, or Kubrick's Napoleon. I'd give anything to see it, but of course there's no way…

  • Snowpiercer

    Snowpiercer

    ★★★

    The premise is absolutely ludicrous, but it's metaphor.. or something. It's certainly unique. It also prevents me from criticizing the logic, which might be a good thing. You just have to get on the crazy train and ride along. Thankfully Tilda Swinton is there to save the movie, since she seems to be the only one who sees it for the silliness that it is and responds appropriately with an overly eccentric and very funny character (I'll throw in a…