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Jason Bourne is No Longer Essential

(Note: Contains spoilers for the first three Bourne movies, but not this one.)  One of the great pleasures of 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum was the way it conclusively brought its protagonist’s journey full circle.  When the credits rolled, that was it: the saga was complete, and everyone was satisfied.  It almost didn’t matter whether or not Jason Bourne…

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It’s Oscar Time! Can Leo Lose Again?

The Oscar nominations were announced today, and even though people trust the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences only slightly more than Congress, this day always excites me.  The full list can be found here.  Now, ten thoughts on the nominations in what’s been a weird year for mainstream movies: 1) It’s understandable that Leonardo DiCaprio’s…

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Merry Christmas! Don’t Spend it With The Hateful Eight

In the last year or so, a few prominent filmmakers have released movies that have unfortunately highlighted their creators’ weaknesses.  This fall’s Steve Jobs was less a movie than An Aaron Sorkin Movie, more interested in spitting out rapid-fire dialogue than in creating three-dimensional characters or resonant situations.  Last year’s Interstellar exacerbated Christopher Nolan’s problems with shoddy…

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‘Steve Jobs’ Creates Its Own Reality, For Better or Worse

I’m not sure I can recall another mainstream, non-fantasy, non-scifi movie that has less interest in appearing real than ‘Steve Jobs.’  How much that bothers you will be a matter of personal preference. Even though there was another movie about former Apple CEO Steve Jobs a couple years ago, this has always been the most…

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Beach House Turn Up the Silence

Beach House are, mostly, well-understood by now.  We expect them to craft heavenly dream pop that’s less noisy than classic shoegaze but not as sparsely bleak as all-time mopers like Red House Painters.  As they’ve proved before on songs like ‘Myth’ and ‘Lazuli,’ they represent another in a long and distinguished line of bands who…

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The Fundamental Problems With Trainwreck

There are many reasons to be excited about Trainwreck.  It’s the latest Judd Apatow movie, written by and starring rising comic star Amy Schumer.  It tackles the miserable process known as dating in the modern age.  Brie Larson’s in it!  So is LeBron James—and, against all odds, he’s a smashing success. Before we determine whether it…

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The Fatal, Fixable Flaw of the Entourage Movie

I loved the show Entourage—partially because it was once so damn addictive (obligatory ‘primarily the early seasons’ addendum goes here), partially because my introduction to it dovetailed with my burgeoning fascination with Hollywood, and partially because I’m a sap sometimes. Now, the Entourage boys have once again taken the Sex and the City lead and made…

Image courtesy Paul Walker's Facebook page.

Flying Off Into the Sunset: Assessing Furious 7

No matter how much danger and damage covers the screen, death is not supposed to truly consume an action movie.  Almost always, the concept of it, of genuine sadness, of legitimate worry, is a mirage.  Action flicks toy with it for the sole purpose of exhilarating us with its resounding defeat.  And that’s what makes…