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  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Spider-Man: Homecoming

    ★★★★

    It's a little too jokey for my taste, especially early on, but it's still great fun to watch. Tom Holland is even better here than he was in Civil War. I've never been a fan of Zendaya, and there seemed to be a lot of Zendaya here, so that was a problem for me. Flash Thompson seemed like a waste of screentime (why even include him if you're using such a toothless version of the character?) but Ned continues the…

  • The Big Sick

    The Big Sick

    ★★★★

    It feels a little bit stuck between indie and big-studio, and not every scene lands 100%, but I loved this movie! I think it helped that I know at least the basics of Kumail and Emily's story from listening to their podcast appearances over the years; not sure it works exactly as well for viewers going in completely blind. The cast is great throughout, though I wish the Gardners were a bit less of a cliche and the Nanjianis a…

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  • Sand Castle

    Sand Castle

    ★★★★

    I enjoyed this a lot! The supporting cast is a little hard to tell apart, but that's a particular weakness of mine and they're distinct enough to get the job done anyway, so no big deal. I could have done without the big action scene -- this isn't really an action movie, so it felt a little pandering/obligatory, and I'm not sure it added anything essential to the story the movie's trying to tell. (It does add something, but only in reinforcement of the previous, more-organic, action scene, so I would have left it out. Admittedly, YMMV.) Really loved the piano-in-the-palace bookends. Great modern war movie.

  • 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…