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  • How to Train Your Dragon 2

    How to Train Your Dragon 2

    ★★½

    This was progressing fine until the second act climax (although the sudden rekindling the romance thing in the middle of act 2 also had some execution problems.)

    Then just a bunch of contrivances and poorly timed gags and inadequately severe battle scenes looked to me like a high speed runner who starts fantastically stumbling at top speed. This thing got across the finish line but it was damn ungainly getting there.

    The film is angling toward some worthwhile themes but there's too much in the way of mechanisms here that don't work. I guess it's pretty to look at while it's doing it, though.

  • The Predator

    The Predator

    ★★½

    I actually liked this one ok for the first 2/3rds of it... I thought it would end up with 3.5 stars from me.... But somehow in the last twenty or twenty-five minutes it just lost a lot of points.

    There's a number of fun, cool ideas here, but a lot of significant deficiencies. For one, Boyd Holbrook is an uninspiring lead. I swear the industry is pressing these guys out of a factory because there's like six others who seem…

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  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    ★★★★★

    This is one movie I can't be expected to be objective in accessing. It gets five stars. Don't bother arguing with me, I'm not capable of processing arguments against it. I love this movie. It's always been very special to me since I was very, very small. It's obviously a great work of craft, fueled by a heartfelt message that isn't really what you could call spoon-fed. Pretty amazing for a "kids movie."

    It's a film about abandonment and isolation…

  • Imperium

    Imperium

    ★★★★½

    Just a really great movie, and very important to our times. Daniel Radcliffe is really fantastic and his central role is supported by entirely pitch-perfect performances all around.

    It's very engaging, excellently paced, very real, but not excessively grim. It faces the challenge of fighting the mental virus of fascism, and does so retaining humanity, warmth, and compassion for those under its sway.

    See it.