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  • RoboCop

    RoboCop

    ★★★★

    It's so typical for these scifi franchies where the first film is a "great idea" that then is pillaged and diffused through multiple sequels until it finally squeaks to its inevitable demise. I can't really say there have been any Robocops since the first that have been worth watching. Despite some rough spots, or areas where I wish Verhoeven had gone a bit deeper into the psychology of the characters, there's stuff in this film that sticks in mind.

    It's…

  • Venom

    Venom

    ★★★

    Venom's not a great movie. And from a dramatic viewpoint, it's not really a good one either. Even visually it can be a mess at times (for example, the climactic fight between Venom and Riot is almost impossible to follow, happening at night at breakneck speeds between two amorphous foes). Even some of the plot events and dialogue are poorly handled or don't flow well.

    Which is why I was pretty shocked I still had a good time watching it,…

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  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    ★★★★

    Whether the reverberations of Lucas' first trilogy here are viewed as a homage and bridge between the old and new or as a lack of imagination will depend on one's personal tastes and the long-term intentions of the creative staff.

    There is a LOT of "The Force Awakens" that echoed things we've seen before. Some of the settings seem awfully familiar even if given other names, and from a high-concept level there's not much of a plot (First Order AKA…

  • Army of Darkness

    Army of Darkness

    ★★★★

    ... and yet another jump in Raimi's comedy-horror. Army of Darkness actually has a script and a plot, even if it's rather uncomplicated -- get the book, stop the army, get sent back to one's own time. Maybe the best way to summarize it is to say Army of Darkness actually has a story versus a handful of funny incidents, and all the actions and humor is in service to the story. Raimi also improves on his ability to pace…