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  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

    ★★

    Interminably long. I couldn’t tell if I had ever seen it all the way through before, as parts of it seemed so familiar and other parts entirely new. Did I fall asleep watching this many years ago and then just give up on it? Probably, yes. It is hard to hate it though, every time it really starts to sag, Geoffrey Rush will cut loose on some insane monologue and pump some life into the thing.

    But it’s visually drab,…

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    ★★★½

    Just masterful action sequences, the grand set pieces that Verbinski really excels in. The waterwheel fight in particular is great fun.

    For the most part the effects on Davy Jones’ crew still look amazing, and none better than Davy himself. He feels alive, thanks in equal part to a fine performance from Bill Nighy, excellent effects work, and a suitably haunting theme from Hans Zimmer, whose score here drives a lot of the movie (it’s Zimmer, who is surprised?).

    The…

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  • The Purge: Election Year

    The Purge: Election Year

    ★★★

    Frank Grillo would have been the biggest star of the VHS era. Bring back video stores so clerks can recommend Frank Grillo movies to cool customers.

    This movie takes the bold political stance that a working class coalition can mobilize against being killed for sport by the rich ruling elites, and win. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • Toy Story 3

    Toy Story 3

    ★★★★½

    A flawed film if you get into the specifics (Buzz is reduced to out-of-character shenanigans for the entire film, which is disappointing if this is a last hurrah). But it's more than the sum of its parts. The feelings (mostly nostalgia) that it inspires in the viewer lift it above its trappings. Enough time has passed between the original and now that the characters have become what before they could only represent: classic toys. A surprisingly dark film, but also hilariously funny.