Rane has written 5 reviews for films rated ★★½ during 2016.

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    ★★½

    An empty franchise one-off with flat characters, a plodding narrative and the requisite space opera spectacle needed to buy off the fanbase. It's fine, it's okay, it's acceptable, whatever. RIP Carrie Fisher, and thank you for making me feel SOMETHING while watching this.

  • Sully

    Sully

    ★★½

    Oddball pseudo-biopic that morphs into a lifeless celebration of Sully and his Great Heroic Act, with a decent but overly-long (and overrated) takeoff-and-crash sequence sandwiched in the middle.

  • Little Men

    Little Men

    ★★½

    Takes an admirable stab at exploring the nuances, contradictions and repercussions of gentrification, but the narrative and characters are too limp to make much impact. One scene does do a nice job capturing hypocrisies in parent-child relationships, but not much else of note here.

  • The Boy and the Beast

    The Boy and the Beast

    ★★½

    Hosoda's weakest effort to date, offering a surprisingly effective exploration into child independence and father/son relationships but relying far too heavily on tired shonen cliches (particularly the extended training montages, poor exposition and both the pursuit of and pontification on the abstract concept of "true strength" that results in little other than platitudes). Animation is on-par with the director's previous works, but also implements CG that's both astounding (the fiery imagery of the prologue) and off-putting (some of the zooming shots through the Shibuya crowd and Jutengai).

  • Body Double

    Body Double

    ★★½

    A bold but exploitative and ultimately empty blend of Hitchcock riffs and sleazy mid-'80's artifice that mistakes metatext for thematic weight. Not quite the trashy-aesthetics borefest I recalled, but not much better either. The ending is so muddled I can't tell if it's a total cop-out or just half-baked storytelling.