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  • The Taking of Tiger Mountain

    The Taking of Tiger Mountain

    ★★★½

    68

    Reasonably entertaining, as ought to be expected with a cross between Indiana Jones and Seven Samurai helmed by Tsui Hark in digital-era blockbuster mode, but I wish the film had been even crazier, with colors and action that popped more and psychedelic imagery that cleaved closer to the director's best.

    That said, there are these crazy, clearly made-for-3D moments where the film does funky, self-reflexive things with the CG, like freezing the image for a moment while the "camera"…

  • The Bouncer

    The Bouncer

    ★★★½

    73

    Art house Van Damme. It's conventional to the core, but Leclercq directs the heck out of this thing, nowhere more so than in a nerve-jangling single-take home invasion sequence and a parking garage chase/shootout that would do Walter Hill proud. Additionally, the film makes great use of silence (some of the best scenes are dialogue-free) and stillness (of both the mise-en-scene and Van Damme's cannily understated performance), which then make the moments of motion and violence that much more powerful.

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  • 25th Hour

    25th Hour

    ★★★★★

    The monologue scene: still one of the defining moments in my history of movie-watching. It exposes the film's allegorical intents while simultaneously keeping us grounded in Monty's haunted psyche. On the one hand, we have an operatic elegy to post-9/11 rage and xenophobia. On the other, a self-directed tirade by a man burdened with sorrow and regret. The duality is palpable, moving, sublime.

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    ★★★½

    In light of the heavy fire 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' has been taking from critics, I will say upfront that the film is a narrative mess. The main plotline follows Batman’s increasing distrust of Superman, whose battle against General Zod in 'Man of Steel' caused huge and lethal amounts of collateral damage. Superman returns the sentiment, believing that Batman’s brutal brand of justice is a menace to law-abiding society, which in turn observes these two heroes with simultaneous…