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  • Soul

    Soul

    ★★★★

    Maybe I’ve had my standards plummet after watching so many bad Christmas movies this month, but I really liked this. Four stars.

  • Mank

    Mank

    ★★★½

    Pretty good for a talky melodrama, but the heavy-handed political parallels were a little distracting. At least they didn’t go too far, but the screenplay seemed to follow a style that didn’t always work to tell the story. The tension is shallow since Mank is portrayed as already at rock bottom.

    If he fails to finish his screenplay, so what? He’s already been thrown out of the higher echelons of Hollywood through his self-destructive behavior. Further, little of his journey…

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  • Enemy

    Enemy

    ★★★

    Bold move of Villenueve to remake “Eight Legged Freaks.”

    It’s good, but not great. Not my kind of movie, I guess. Largely allegorical and symbolic, and it probably takes multiple viewings to fully absorb. But I’m not interested in going through it again, the hidden meanings felt too obscure and I disliked the amber color tone to the imagery. It was ugly by intention, but it wasn’t appealing to look at and just made me want the movie to be…

  • A Dog's Journey

    A Dog's Journey

    ★★

    Exactly the same as the first “A Dog’s Purpose” movie, if not even less interesting since the story didn’t even need to include the dog. You can have a non active character guide the audience through a movie, but it’s a bad idea to make it the protagonist. The dog’s story was essentially ended in the last movie, but now by necessity of having a sequel we slap on this motivation of him to protect Dennis Quaid’s granddaughter.

    The emotional…

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  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day

    Terminator 2: Judgment Day

    ★★★★★

    The original is a fine, humble science fiction film, made at the beginning of James Cameron’s career. By the time of this one, he had gained a high reputation and therefore high budget to craft a sequel. But in a great reversal of expectations, this improves on everything done in the original, upping the action well, the stakes, the menace and threat of the evil terminator, and adding a great new character in the young John Connor.

  • Back to the Future

    Back to the Future

    ★★★★★

    The tightest screenplay and the best casting ever.