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  • 24 Hour Party People

    24 Hour Party People

    ★★★½

    The combination of Michael Winterbottom, Steve Cohan and Rob Brydon is never not excellent. The film lives up to its soundtrack.

  • The Bed Sitting Room

    The Bed Sitting Room

    ★★★★★

    This is a work of pure comic genius that deserves to be much better known. Imagine if JG Ballard wrote a Monty Python skit Now add the most amazing cast possible and watch them gradually transform into prices of furniture, and, yes, a tiny apartment. When you see it then you'll understand Sort of. Keep it on hand for when you need good medicine.

  • The Last Days on Mars

    The Last Days on Mars

    ★★

    A perfectly competent zombie film that happens to be set on Mars. What a waste of props and cast. Zzz

  • Crash

    Crash

    ★★★½

    Trying to decide if this is more Cronenberg or Ballard. I'm leaning towards the former, but I have yet to read the book, which I usually do first, but I'm giving myself a Ballard film festival tonight.

  • Star Trek Beyond

    Star Trek Beyond

    ★★★½

    After the disaster that was the prior installment of JJTrek I vowed never again. But then as Discovery started up, I kept hearing people say that this film was actually pretty good.

    And so it is. Pretty good. I rolled my eyes at the reverse Star Wars when Kirk is Darth Vader trying to prevent Luke/Krall from blowing up the Death Star /Yorktown, but I have to admit that "Sabotage" destroying the X-Wings/Bees was a fun touch.

    And of course I choked up at THAT PHOTO. And every time Chekhov was on screen.

  • The Wizard of Lies

    The Wizard of Lies

    ★★½

    For all its star power, this film isn't a patch on Madoff, which featured Richard Dreyfuss and Blythe Danner in the roles Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer phoned in here (Pfeiffer's exaggerated accent really jars compared took Danner's natural speech). Meh.

  • Too Big to Fail

    Too Big to Fail

    ★★★½

    A Planet Money podcast enacted by A list actors, Too Big to Fail focuses on Treasury Secretary ( and former Goldman Sachs executive) Hank Paulson, depicting him as the adult in the room, if not an actual hero. I take some issue with that.

    Excellent performances all around, though, and the writers did a good job making boring but important events interesting and understandable.

    Occupy should have burned it all down.

  • My Scientology Movie

    My Scientology Movie

    ★★★★

    I actually prefer this one too Going Clear in artistic terms. I like the device of simultaneously telling a story and showing us how you're telling the story (e.g. casting/auditions, discussions about logistics, etc). The tension between the filmmaker and his primary source was especially interesting and absorbing. I didn't learn anything new, but I got a new way of experiencing what I'd learned elsewhere. A good effort.

  • Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

    Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

    ★★★½

    A friend just revealed he was almost in this movie as an expert on the (now stolen or destroyed) tiles in St. Louis, so I had to watch this again. I saw one in NYC when I was a teenager. Fond memory.

  • Pontypool

    Pontypool

    ★★★★

    Be sure to watch all the way to the end of this most cerebrally strange of horror films. A straight up adaptation of the novel would probably not be as eerily effective as setting it in a radio station. An inspired choice!

  • John Dies at the End

    John Dies at the End

    ★★★★

    I'm a fan of the books and find this a satisfying adaptation of the first one, changes and all.

  • Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman

    ★★★★

    Zac Snyder needs to go, but even he couldn't ruin this film, which lives up to all the hype, positive and negative.