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  • 21 Jump Street

    21 Jump Street

    ★★½

    That the players involved with this project approached it with so little cynicism is inspiring to the cynical failed artist in me. Sadly, the little loser inside of me is vindicated because it's still not that good. The energy dissipates way before the end and it stops being fun--not even Brie Larson can save it. Clever casting: James Franco's little brother in the same role his older brother played in Freaks 'n Geeks.

  • Dunkirk

    Dunkirk

    ★★½

    Almost artful in its technical prowess and realism; it's just like war--pointless and unpleasant.

    The awkwardness and forced patriotism of the 'coda' spoils the impressively sustained tension and mood established by the entire film before it. People complained about the 'happy ending' in "Interstellar" for the same reason, but in this case the film was one long immersive sequence of events up until that point which makes the contrast even starker and the resulting void felt even more disappointing.

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  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    TL;DR: "2001" is a great film, and it's worth watching even if the circumstances aren't perfect.

    I've been pondering what an enormous range of experiences watching a movie is for people in 2013. From silent reverence in front of 35mm projections to an iPad and headphones while falling asleep, it's a wider spectrum than what I once experienced simply as: a) going to the cinema with friends or family, b) watching on TV enduring commercial breaks or on VHS tapes…

  • Training Day

    Training Day

    ★★★★

    The best part about joining this site was retroactively giving a grade to films I've seen while combing the site's database. This was easy for me as Netflix used to have a similar social layer without half-stars that I used and I mostly clicked on the same star (give or take a 1/2). I don't know what kind of psychological profile it gives me (insane film rating completist?) but I went back pretty far in time in terms of what…