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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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2015: The Year in Superlatives

Most Overrated Movie: Spotlight Grant says: The kind of movie that always gets overpraised. Chronicling the exposure of the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in the early 2000s, Spotlight is a ‘talky’ without particularly good dialogue, which is a bit of an issue. It also feels dated (imagine if ‘Margin Call’ or ‘The Social…

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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…