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  • Screamers

    Screamers

    I wanted to like this but despite a strong atmosphere, a handful of effective scenes and generally reliable source material (Philip K. Dick), the entire thing didn't come together very well. The narrative and exposition was clunkily handled in particular, leading to a sense of not really giving a shit what is happening on screen even when it looks kind of cool. There was also some horrendously placed musical choices to the point where it was distracting, and I stand by a lot of this mid-level budget fare of the period not benefitting at all from hi-def.

  • American Beauty

    American Beauty

    ★★★★

    This is one of those movies that I remember moments of quite well after so long, but hadn't returned to due to a vague sense of it having unsettled me as a tween. Re-watching it now I am struck by how it is the sort of pitch black yet earnest satire that Hollywood doesn't seem to want to make any more, and that's before even touching on the retroactively eerie Kevin Spacey performance considering the direction his legacy went. It…

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  • Avatar

    Avatar

    ★★★½

    I thought it was a good time when I first saw it and I feel pretty much the same in retrospect. I regret not seeing it in theatres but it's still pretty overwhelming visually in hi-def. It struck me while watching that Jim Cameron has a problem writing dialog for human villains and is much better off with human good guys and omnipotent/alien/inanimate antagonists.

  • Alien³

    Alien³

    ★★★½

    I have often maintained that the Assembly Cut of this film sucks, but it has been a few years and I know the theatrical version so well that I figured I'd give it a shot, as many prefer it. Upon reconsideration, much of what is added fleshes out the characters and gives the dialogue room to breathe, and I believe that if David Fincher had involved himself in the editing process rather than resentfully disowning both the film and studio…