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  • Inside Man

    Inside Man

    ★★★½

    I liked but did not love this one back when it came out. Recently, people have been praising it as a sort of unsung gem, so I thought I would give it a fresh look for the first time since theaters and see if the intervening years gave me new insight into the film.

    Answer: not really. Still a pretty sharp heist movie, but not one with what I felt was many layers. Casual racism hasn't aged so well, even…

  • Skyscraper

    Skyscraper

    ★★★½

    A solidly-crafted suspense thriller that delivers on tension, even if it can't live up to its obvious inspiration. Johnson doesn't have Bruce Willis' ability to banter with himself, but he sells the high-altitude stakes in a couple of Ghost Protocol-esque climbing scenes, and Thurber's script takes time to give Neve Campbell, as Johnson's wife, and Chin Han, as the building's owner, far more to do than expected (even as he bungles the fistfights). It probably won't spawn a franchise, but you could do far worse for a summer matinee.

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  • A Good Day to Die Hard

    A Good Day to Die Hard

    ½

    First things first: The Die Hard sequels can never be Die Hard. Despite a handful of cheesy moments, the original film is a masterpiece of action movie engineering. The writing and acting are top-notch all by themselves, but it's John McTiernan's brilliant direction that sets the movie head and shoulders above 99% of the genre, and the trajectory of Die Hard 2 (love it or hate it) established that key plot elements and the McClane character would be the backbone…

  • Vampire's Kiss

    Vampire's Kiss

    ★★★★★

    Audio commentary by director Robert Bierman and actor Nicolas Cage. 90 minutes of Bierman and Cage giggling in awe and confusion at what a ridiculous, ludicrous, insane movie they were able to get away with making, and it is glorious. Essential companion viewing to the film itself.