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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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The Earn This Podcast, Episode 21: Reviewing Zootopia

Download link (you may have to right click and “Save As”) Dan and Kevin of Taestful Reviews check in on the latest animated hit, Zootopia, praising its themes and evaluating its place in recent animated canon. Notes/corrections: We couldn’t remember the name of the studio behind the upcoming The Secret Life of Pets — it’s Illumination…

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Brian’s Year of Free Movies (2015) – The Bottom 5

In my last post, I discussed my picks for the Top 10 films from my “year of free movies” screened at the University Mall Theatres in Fairfax. Now we dive to the bottom of the barrel to explore the opposite extreme. Partly because I’m a positive person (but mostly because I have a whole other…

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Brian’s Year of Free Movies (2015) – The Top 10

This past year, I spent a lot of time at the movie theater. I helped Kickstart a project by a local second-run cinema, and in return got free movie tickets for all of 2015. While I never actually wrote any reviews up until now, I did keep a record of everything I saw. And since Oscar…

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The Earn This Podcast, Episode 20: Reviewing The Martian

Download link (you may have to right click and “Save As”) Shortly after The Martian debuted, I sat down with my buddy Matt to talk about the film: what works and what is underwhelming. Given its recent Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture (!) — here’s our discussion. Notes/corrections: “In space, no one can hear you scream”…

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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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5 Thoughts Tangentially Related to Alan Rickman

Die Hard is a legitimately fantastic film. I don’t mean that in the ironic, macho way that Joey does in Friends. It’s one of my favorite movies, brilliantly crafted and thrilling. The script tells a story of Bruce Willis saving a building from terrorists. But Die Hard goes one step deeper in the way that…

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15 Thoughts on The Force Awakens

SPOILERS AHOY! If you haven’t seen Star Wars: Episode VII, I recommend that you do so before reading this. I do not shy away from spoilers in the following comments. 1. This is a good movie, and a great movie-going experience Breathe a sigh of relief, o fellow nerds! The franchise is redeemed! Our worries were…

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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…