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"A.K.A. Two Guys, A Girl And A Really Shitty Movie"
1 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "I have always had a sneaking suspicion that if you took the films that Samuel L. Jackson has made throughout his career and counted up the number of times that he says fuck” in each one, you would find that in most cases, the higher the “fuck” count, the lower the overall quality. Granted, this isn’t always the case—Lord knows he drops one F-bomb after another in his various collaborations with Quentin Tarantino and those films are all pretty much aces as far as I am concerned. In the case of the Tarantino films, however, the scripts also contain interesting storylines, creative narrative approaches, fully fleshed-out characters and the kind of dialogue that is so wonderfully phrased and delivered that you want to savor every word, even those of the four-letter variety. Most of the time, however, these films tend to be dregs because they are utterly lacking any redeeming or memorable qualities to speak of and the filmmakers, with nothing left to offer, simply opt to have Jackson act like a Tourette’s victim in order to score cheap laughs from those in the audience who still find vulgar language to be inherently funny. A good case in point—though not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination—is his latest vehicle, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard.” a painfully wretched, gruesomely violent and artlessly vulgar action-comedy that is so devoid of genuine entertainment value that anyone not harboring a bizarre sense of nostalgia for the Brett Ratner oeuvre will find themselves wondering how it could have possibly gotten made in the first place, let alone attracted a number of excellent actors to deliver some of the most nondescript performances of their careers." (more)
"All the blood and rage you'd want from an undying samurai."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2017 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: "Blade of the Immortal" is being advertised as Takashi Miike's hundredth movie (looking at the IMDB, the numbers don't quite seem to align, but, hey, close enough), and I suspect that his biggest hit outside of his native Japan is his remake of "13 Assassins", which demonstrated that while he may be known as the guy who does the weird stuff, he's one of the best action filmmakers out there when you strip that away. He returns to big samurai action with "Blade", which gets to be even bigger and bloodier." (more)
"The War At Home"
3 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Even if they didn’t happen to be coming out in theaters within a week of each other, it would be easy to recognize any number of unexpected and inadvertent parallels between Kathryn Bigelow’s “Detroit” and Chritstopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk.” Both are large-scale and serious-minded historical dramas aimed at adult audiences coming out in the middle of a moviegoing season usually dedicated to aggressively silly nonsense. Both tell dark and uncompromising stories that largely eschew the kind of simple-minded melodramatics that are usually inserted into such things as a way of allegedly broadening their potential appeal. Both are stunning technical achievements from two of the best filmmakers working today that place viewers smack dab in the middle of their respective events with a ruthless and sometimes horrifying efficiency that is not easy to shake once they leave the multiplex. And yet, while “Dunkirk” is sure to go down as one of the best films of the year, “Detroit,” while certainly a more dramatically challenging work by far, just misses the mark—it contains some of the most powerful and unforgettable filmmaking you are likely to see anytime soon but also includes a couple of key elements that are awkward enough to keep it from fully coming together." (more)
"Surviving adolescence intact is no small challenge."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT THE 2017 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: I coincidentally went to my twenty-five-year high-school reunion the weekend before seeing "Super Dark Times", spending some time laughing at friends' stories about events that could have gone wrong in similarly horrific ways but never did, and while that doesn't quite line my timeline up with this 1990s-set story, it had me a little more open to this sort of throwback than I usually am. Which is good, because though it's got a few bumps toward the end, I'd hate to dismiss a pretty good movie because I'm usually more interested in the present." (more)

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