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  • The Big Short

    The Big Short

    ★★½

    All the stuff that made VICE such an insufferable harangue—particularly treating the audience like it couldn’t possibly understand the film’s underlying concepts without putting them through the prism of gimmicky, cameo-filled testimonials, akin to rolling up a dog’s pill in bologna—is present here, it’s just the subject matter lends itself better to patronization. At the same time, much of what made the last season of “Succession” such a cutthroat joy is *also* here, particularly Jeremy Strong, Britell’s music and the…

  • The Wandering Earth

    The Wandering Earth

    ★½

    Synthesizes every cynical story beat, broad characterization and visually incoherent frame found within the cinema du Bay and Emmerich and spits it back out as a jingoistic event film just exotic enough to appeal to the people who routinely dismiss this kind of crap. There’s nothing in ARMAGEDDON as inane as the scene here where one of the commandos fires a Gatling gun at the planet Jupiter because he’s mad at it.

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  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    ★★

    When I was a little kid, growing up solidly middle class, I had a lot of toys. But my parents, mindful of the expanding clutter that comes from the accumulation of “stuff,” presented me with an ultimatum: if I went long enough without playing with my toys then I’d have to get rid of them before I could get any new ones. They didn’t care what I did with them: throw them out, sell them at a yard sale, give…

  • Baby Driver

    Baby Driver

    ★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    A crushing disappointment really*, all the more so as I appear to be out of step with the rest of the internet on its lousiness. Wright’s way too accomplished a filmmaker for this to be a total wash but the film strives for a tricky confection of tones and what it arrives at is curdled. If HOT FUZZ took a comical premise and populates it with deadly serious characters, this tries the inverse, setting the film in a world of…