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  • Flatliners

    Flatliners

    ★★★½

    Looking with apprehension at the upcoming remake/sequel to "Flatliners" (still, uh, called Flatliners?)... The trailers don't look great, the movie seems like a generic dead-on-arrival horror flick, and there's been no critical buzz on the film. I'm not expecting much, in a world where "Hollywoo" seems to view creativity as an endless slew of remaking old properties.

    But looking back at the original... not the greatest movie (helmed by Joel Schumacher, which unfortunately can never live down his Batman films…

  • The Third Man

    The Third Man

    ★★★★½

    It's funny how film conventions change over time, considering the initial reaction to "The Third Man" was not as positive from critics in some regions as it was in the United States upon its release and of course now with the film being highly acclaimed with more decades passed.

    The story begins mostly as a detective story of sorts -- Holly Martins (a famous American western writer) heads to Austria to visit his friend Harry Lime, only to arrive in…

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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…

  • Lost in Translation

    Lost in Translation

    ★★★★★

    "Lost in Translation" runs counter to expectation. It's a Bill Murray vehicle that often seems too subtle for Murray's typical roles. It's a serious film with a playful undertone, or perhaps a playful movie laden with meaning. The big dramatic moments never arrive. There are hints of Eros energy without leaping directly into the sheets.

    "Lost in Translation" conveys an atmosphere of loneliness between two people mired in the twilight of long-distance marriages, cursed to haunt the dark hours of…