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  • Sinister 2

    Sinister 2

    ★½

    Most movies don't become caricatures of themselves until later in the series, but somehow Sinister 2 pulls this off by the sequel. The first ten minutes of the movie feels like it's trying too hard to top itself, and it doesn't get much better from there -- there are familiar elements from the original movie, but the horror is that much of the creep factor feels leached from them.

    Baghuul is back to his old tricks in Round 2, continuing…

  • Poltergeist

    Poltergeist

    ★★★

    Somehow I'd managed to avoid "Poltergeist" through adolescence and adulthood, although I've been aware of the characters and the gist due to the numerous parodies over the years. Now having seen it, I'm both impressed and disappointed.

    I'm mostly impressed by the effects (for the year it was made, 1982) and how it was edgy enough to earn an R rating that was challenged and knocked down to a PG at the time. (And this is without language or sex…

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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…

  • Captain America: Civil War

    Captain America: Civil War

    ★★★★½

    In some ways, "Civil War" scans as an Avengers movie, as it is mainly concerned with the team's future on the international level and has a huge roster of probably 13-14 heroes. (At some point, I lost count.) But somehow the Russos pull this off without really diluting the characters; everyone seems to get the amount of face time they deserve based on the dynamics of plot and relationship, and each is firmly established in terms of what they want,…