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  • Moana

    Moana

    ★★★

    It's great-looking and the core story is solid (if familiar and predictable), but I didn't love the music all that much and as a guy living in Hawaii I went in thinking it was going to be more about Hawaii than it was. Perfect setup for a sequel? Lots of good gags and a really fun little action scene when Moana and Maui battle the Menehune pirates. That particular scene, the visuals in general, and a handful of lyrics (I didn't fall in love with any of the songs, but there are great lyrics scattered throughout) make this worth watching in my book.

  • Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange

    ★★★

    Solid introduction to yet another great character/actor combo by Marvel, but ultimately not something I consider a standalone franchise. The bigger magical powers portrayed here are a little repetitive/mind-numbing to carry multiple feature-length movies; teaming him with Thor seems like a smart way to keep both of those characters fresh; think, Iron Man always having War Machine in his "solo" movies, or Captain America always having Black Widow and Falcon in his "solo" movies. Cumberbatch leads a great cast --…

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  • Elizabethtown

    Elizabethtown

    ★★½

    On 1st viewing, I resented that the fish-out-of-water stuff got in the way of the romance. This time, my feelings are exactly opposite: I wanted more fish-out-of-water and less of Kirsten Dunst. The romance is embarrassing, and Dunst is stuck playing what may be the worst movie character ever. But even she has her moments, and that's the thing: This is a terrible movie, but there are pieces of it that work well enough to make you wonder if it's…

  • Titanic

    Titanic

    ★★★

    Having seen (and enjoyed) the Titanic exhibit in Vegas a few weeks ago, I wanted to revisit this movie. Time hasn't really helped it; the effects aren't as impressive as I remember and Jack and Rose are, if anything, even more ridiculous characters than I thought they were. But, for some reason, I liked it more tonight than I did in 1998. If someone tells me it's their favorite movie, I think I get it now. Maybe sometimes filmmaking isn't just about the writing. #shrug