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  • Once Upon a Time in Venice

    Once Upon a Time in Venice

    ★★★

    Perhaps it's the low expectations I had to this – Bruce Willis coasting through yet another glorified cameo for an inflated paycheck probably – but Once Upon a Time in Venice turned out to be a pleasant little surprise. Everyone involved appear to have dropped any kind of pretensions, and just decided to have a laidback, good time. The result is a movie that's never in any danger of lifting the art form of cinema to new heights, or even…

  • The Circle

    The Circle

    ★★½

    Not entirely worthless, but The Circle struggles to suspend disbelief, and is essentially a Black Mirror episode with all the biting satire taken out, and a whole lot of meandering padding stuffed in instead.

  • Logan Lucky

    Logan Lucky

    ★★★

    Steven Soderbergh returns – hooray, I guess? – but in a fairly minor way. The sprawling, star-studded cast is better than the movie they're in, which is mostly a perfectly passable, goofy and garish heist flick, and what I hope is a wildly overcooked parody of the people and culture of the American south. The movie even dubs itself Ocean's 7-11 at one point, and that's pretty much the level of sophistication you get here.

  • The Last Laugh

    The Last Laugh

    ★★★★

    A timely and well argued reminder that we must never stop ridiculing nazis and exposing the dark corners of misery with humor.

  • Shogun

    Shogun

    ★★★★

    James Clavell’s fictionalized version of William Adams’ adventures in 1600 Japan was a hit when it was published back in 1975, as was the mini tv-series adaptation that followed in 1980. Richard Chamberlain plays the English ship pilot Blackthorn – the book and series’ stand-in for William Adams – who ends up in Japan, and finds adventure, danger, intrigue, and love.

    Set during the Sengoku period, the threat of imminent war looms over the story like a dark cloud, and…

  • Ghost in the Shell

    Ghost in the Shell

    Given the white-washing controversy, I didn’t go to this movie with very high hopes, but wow, this was SO much worse than I ever expected! While the white-washing is bad enough, this incarnation of the seminal cyperpunk series makes the cardinal sin of easily being the most boring adaptation of it by far. Each adaptation has put its own little spin on Motoko Kusanagi, so I can’t really fault this movie too much for not being "canon" in that respect,…

  • The Odyssey

    The Odyssey

    ★★★½

    A good-looking, but ultimately frustrating look into the life and career of scuba diving trailblazer Jacques Cousteau – and to a large extent also his younger son, Philippe.

    Opening with the plane crash that killed Philippe in '79 (although the nature and violence of his death is changed from actual events and downplayed here), before jumping back thirty years, the accident colors everything that is to follow with a sense of melancholy and impending doom. And what follows is a…

  • The Mummy

    The Mummy

    ★★★

    While the Uncharted adaptation continues to linger in development hell, this new take on The Mummy is probably the closest approximation of seeing Nate's adventures up on the big screen (specifically Uncharted 3) we'll get in the foreseeable future, and for that alone I found it enjoyable.

    Tom Cruise is an uncomfortable fit with the lovably roguish character he's been tasked to play – a Nathan Fillion or Chris Pratt type would have been better – but he gives it…

  • Baywatch

    Baywatch

    ★★★

    It's not very good, but it made me laugh. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • The Next Generation Patlabor: Tokyo War

    The Next Generation Patlabor: Tokyo War

    ★★★½

    A live-action sequel to Oshii's marvellous Patlabor 2: The Movie, The Next Generation Patlabor: Tokyo War is simultaneously also very much a complete retread of its predecessor, with predictably diminishing returns. The result is a movie that feels a bit half-hearted, and never quite manages to rise sufficiently above its meager pretensions. At the same time, however, the original story it's rehashing and relentlessly throwing out callbacks to is so excellent that enough of the old SV2 magic manages to…

  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

    King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

    ★★★

    Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Arrows. Guy Ritchie transplants his usual cockney gangster shtick to old timey London - Londinium, actually - to mostly entertaining effect. It's all hyperkinetic smoke and mirrors to cover up the nonsense plot, but it's never boring, and Daniel Pemberton's pounding, percussive soundtrack contribution probably deserves some kind of MVP award for keeping the pulse up throughout.

  • Alien: Covenant

    Alien: Covenant

    ★★

    Here we go again - another round of dumb people in space. A slight improvement over Prometheus, but not by much. Go watch Life instead. Yes, it's derivative, but it still manages to be more suspenseful and satisfying than this dull by-the-numbers rehashing of bits from Scott's previous entries in the series.