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  • Ukraine on Fire

    Ukraine on Fire


    A response to the Winter on Fire documentary, that supposedly tells the other side of the story of the recent unrest in Ukraine. Unfortunately, it's nowhere near as visceral and compelling in its telling, taking instead the form of a televisual, exhausting firehose of (alternative) facts and opinions, that ultimately overwhelms rather than informs. The presence of Oliver Stone is also troubling, given the conspiratorial nature of many of the allegations - his generally hyperbolic approach to things makes it…

  • City of Gold

    City of Gold


    LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold is quite literally the antithesis of Ratatouille's Anton Ego: open-minded and genial, and, it has to be said, rotund. City of Gold is ostensibly a portrait of the Pulitzer Price winning critic, but ends up just as much as a portrait of and love letter to the city of Los Angeles. Perhaps not a documentary that delves deep, but nevertheless a very enjoyable and uplifting piece of fluff, that may very well leave you hungry, if not hungry for more!

  • Hacksaw Ridge

    Hacksaw Ridge


    Well, that was certainly 2.5 hours of really intense pacifism!

  • Spectral



    Basically Aliens with ghosts instead of xenomorphs – you've got the outsider main character, the trash talking marines, the dropships, the armored cars, a Newt, and the otherworldly monsters. It's nowhere near as good as Cameron's classic, of course, but still entertaining enough. Not the worst 110 minutes you can spend on Netflix.

  • Silence



    Perhaps this is gripping stuff if you're a devout believer, but coming to Chinmoku from an atheist angle definitely saps the entire narrative of interest and drama. Mostly it becomes a tedious tale of missionary arrogance and man's ability to inflict cruelty on each other. The latter is even passed on to the audience, in the form of principal actor David Lampson's wince-inducing garbling of the Japanese dialog. Yeeesh! Easily a low point in Shinoda's filmography, and one can only hope that Scorsese's remake improves on the original's weak points, rather than expand on them...

  • Cave



    Three ex-soldiers – two guys, one gal – reteam a few years after serving, to reforge old bonds and explore a remote cave system. Two of them were an item back then, now the other two are dating, and there’s palpable tension as the three of them head into the cave system.

    Cave divers are a special breed of people – very serious, focused, and meticulous when it comes to pursuing their pastime. They have to be, because cave diving…

  • Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau

    Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau


    "Knowing the odds were stacked against me, I resorted to witchcraft." – Richard Stanley

    The only thing this hugely entertaining behind the scenes documentary is missing (apart from the people who are no longer with us), is a few words from Grade A asshole Val Kilmer. Having suffered through the execrable The Island of Dr. Moreau, watching the story of how it all went so spectacularly wrong almost entirely makes up for it. And Richard Stanley certainly is one wonderfully weird, strange dude. It's too bad this disaster more or less pushed him out of filmmaking.

  • Jason Bourne

    Jason Bourne


    There's a decent amount of post-Snowden suspense and thrills lurking in the latest entry in the Bourne saga. Too bad the most high octane moments are all shrouded in the impenetrable veil of Chaos Cinema, courtesy of a deeply squirrely cinematographer, twitched up on military grade caffeine. Doug Liman's Bourne movie, with its legible action, easily remains the best of the series.

  • Extraction



    "Good skin is for potatoes and hookers."

    That unexpectedly goofy line is perhaps the most memorable thing about this relentlessly undercooked B-movie, featuring yet another phoned-in guest appearance by Bruce Willis, and not nearly enough Gina Carano.

  • Gods of Egypt

    Gods of Egypt


    According to popular opinion, I should mock and deride Alex Proyas' latest feature. But that would be dishonest. The truth is that I had a lot of fun with Gods of Egypt, and not at the movie's expense either. Honest fun!

    Sure, it's garish and wacky, and probably not particularly great, but it's also actually never dull, and even better, it's got a great, goofy, good-natured sense of humor. Nothing would have killed this movie stone dead more than it…

  • The Revenant

    The Revenant


    A tedious and wildly overblown patchwork of squishy exploitation cinema and a faux Terrence Malick movie. Mostly a movie for fans of grunting.

  • X-Men: Apocalypse

    X-Men: Apocalypse


    Particle animation: the Movie.