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Meesa Tired
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Bologna, Italy
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Maniac: 1x03 Having a Day
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2018-09-23T11:38:06Z— updated 2018-09-24T13:57:02Z

Justin Theroux stole this episode. So damn funny.

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Slice

I love A24 and campy horror comedy but yikes. This is just plain bad.

It's unfunny, cheap-looking and shoddily put together. Almost nothing in Slice works. Even Zazie Beetz looked bored. The only positive I can think about is the mercifully short runtime that makes this bearable.

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Preacher: 3x10 The Light Above

Finally, Angelville is over. A decent season but a noticeable step down for me from the first two. Really felt that the show was spinning its wheels for most of the season.

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Castle Rock

Loving the atmosphere so far. With the current Stephen King resurgence, Hulu might have a hit on their hands

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Wellington Paranormal

Silly little thing. Nothing compared to What We Do In The Shadows, but still fun enough

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The Expanse: 3x13 Abaddon's Gate

Great ending to the best season of hard sci-fi TV we've had in years. The show is only getting better, I'm sure its new home at Amazon will help make it more visible to wide audiences too.

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The Endless

An ambitious modern fairytale deeply grounded in reality, The Endless is a fascinating movie about, in the end, brotherhood, trust, responsibility and progress in life.

While their previous directorial effort, Spring, resonated more with me, this movie cements Benson and Moorhead as interesting and thoughtful filmmakers with big ideas.

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Set It Up

Glen Powell and the endlessly charming Zoey Deutch have great chemistry in a cute, funny but in the end fairly by-the-numbers romcom. Set it Up doesn't do anything particularly new or innovative, but it didn't need to.

It mainly works, it's comfortable, and it's a Netflix watch that you won't regret.

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Archer: 9x08 Danger Island: A Discovery

A reasonably funny episode, but the ending really bummed me out. Is S10 gonna be another dream season, this time in space? Please no, just conclude the actual story.

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Legion: 2x11 Chapter 19

They've been hinting at it all season, but making David literally the villain, with heavy themes like sexual abuse involved is a tough and ridiculously bold move, and I'm not sure whether audiences will go with it. It'll be interesting to see how they deal with it in the next season.

Season 2 hasn't for me been on the same level as the spectacular S1, but Legion is still one of the most inventive, interesting and engaging shows currently on TV.

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The Night Eats the World

There is a line between being purposefully subdued and straight-up boring, and unfortunately The Night Eats the World crosses it. It's a shame, because there are a few deeply beautiful moments, but they are drowned in a constantly unengaging story.
90 minutes feel like three hours.

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Flower

Zoey Deutch tries to salvage with her charm a disastrous script, and she only half succeeds.

The movie is competently directed from a technical standpoint, but seemed to completely misread its tone or subject matter, becoming repulsive at times. It's a shame, because up until the confrontation with Will I had found Flower to be a decently funny movie, even if I found the characters really hard to like and their decision-making questionable, and the movie’s conceptual flaws – like its questionable treatment of heavy themes like teen suicide or pedophilia and its distinctly male interpretation of what female sexual empowerment looks like – were already clearly showing.

The whole third act is then a dumpster fire, between the kids somehow reaching Will before the cops even if the cops had been alerted of the event, the meaningless trip to the prison and Erica and Luke’s relationship, which never felt earned or believable.

Zoey Deutch will become a star, without a doubt. But she is far too likeable a performer for what this movie is going for, and most importantly, this movie doesn't deserve her.

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Archer: 9x05 Danger Island: Strange Doings in the Taboo Groves

Yaaaaawn. On one hand, I'm surprised we're already in the second half of the season because nearly nothing of actual interest or impact has happened, on the other hand, I'm grateful we're in the second half because that means Danger Island is that much closer to being over.

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The Expanse: 3x07 Delta-V
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2018-05-24T12:00:45Z— updated 2018-05-26T08:43:00Z

Yeah come on Amazon, this show is too good to die now

Edit: aaaand just two days later the show is officially saved by Amazon. Life is good

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Terminal

The more I think about Terminal the more I hate it. The two main plot threads (Simon Pegg and the knockoff Guy Ritchie hitmen) are completely unrelated. The twists are never earned. You can see Mike Myers being the actual big bad from a mile away. The director has to think we're all idiots seeing how many times he has past scenes flashing through monologues to remind us of what happened. And when you think for even one second about the overall story it doesn't make any kind of sense, the hitmen have no reason at all to be in the movie, since apparently Margot Robbie knew everything from the beginning. And "she's crazy" can't be a justification for dumb screenwriting.

I lost all hope when the only remotely interesting part of the movie (the Pegg-Robbie conversation) was removed around the end of the second act.

Only redeeming qualities are some cool shots and lightning, and I really liked Myers, Pegg and Robbie, especially Robbie who was hamming it up the whole movie. She made this watchable.

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Kodachrome

Kodachrome is predictable, light and fun. As with many "trip" movies, the fact that you know exactly how it will end doesn't make the journey not worth taking. Sudeikis and Olsen are perfectly fine in this, but Ed Harris belongs in another league and here he shows why one more time with a masterful performance.
Although, again, telegraphed, the poignant moments hit at the right time, and the movie feels sweet and heartfelt.

It won't make anyone's Top 10 lists, but Kodachrome is well worth the film it was shot on. Even if unlike in the movie - thankfully - it won't be the last one.

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Archer: 9x02 Danger Island: Disheartening Situation

I really can't get into this and the noir season. I hope it's not the case, but it looks like Adam Reed is trying to hide the fact that he has run out of ideas for the show by putting the characters in different, outrageous settings. But it isn't working for me. It just isn't funny.

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Archer: 9x01 Danger Island: Strange Pilot

Wow. Did not feel this premiere at all, downright mediocre. These last seasons are really going downhill unfortunately.

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I Kill Giants

The deceptively marketed I Kill Giants has nothing in common with Harry Potter or the other recent YA movies that the trailer and poster try to evoke. Instead, it reflects on how a child deals with pain and with understanding that there are forces beyond his/her control.

At a reasonable running time and powered by a great performance by young Madison Wolfe, the movie flows quite nicely. It feels a bit heavy handed with the explaining of the methaphor behind its concept, the delivery of some pieces of exposition to the audience is a little clichéd and convenient, and the ending is a bit drawn out and again overexplanatory, but these may be necessary evils to get the point across to the younger viewers.

While I feel that a very similar topic was handled better and more maturely in J. A. Bayona's sensational A Monster Calls, I Kill Giants is still a constantly entertaining and at times moving watch.

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Last Flag Flying

Despite being far from his best outings, Last Flag Flying is very much a Richard Linklater movie, and it bears all the defining traits of the director, from the focus on character-driven dialogue to the expert juxtaposition between humor and drama. The character interaction and their history suck you in and the movie feels much shorter than it is, which is a great accomplishment for the film, especially with it being as dialogue heavy as it is.

Bryan Cranston obviously got the more fun role to play, but I found the standout to be, as he often is these days, Steve Carell. The man is doing some exceptional work and just this year we've seen him in two completely different roles - this and as Bobby Riggs in Battle of the Sexes - and he has absolutely owned both of them.

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Marjorie Prime
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2017-10-09T13:13:56Z— updated 2018-01-04T15:14:48Z

An interesting concept that lost most of its entertainment value in its relatively flat execution. This has been compared to a Black Mirror episode: if it were, it'd be regarded as one of the worst. It sure has merits earned through meaningful conversations and thought-provoking themes, but it couldn't hold my attention, despite its relatively short running time.

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Better Watch Out
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2017-10-09T13:06:32Z— updated 2018-08-08T13:59:27Z

Suprising, original and constantly entertaining, Better Watch Out really is a fun breath of fresh air in a time when most movies feel predictable and telegraphed. It reminded me of two of my favorite horror comedies of the last years, Krampus for the thematic and tonal similarities, and The Visit for the reunion of stars Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould.

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Shot Caller

Nikolai Coster-Waldau, of Game of Thrones fame, gives a committed and transformative lead performance that holds Shot Caller together.

A fairly fun, serviceable crime drama, Shot Caller feels a bit overlong and often predictable, but never boring. Despite some unnecessary subplots and some rushed character transformations, it's hard not to suggest this as a perfectly fine movie night.

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Rashomon

So good, Kurosawa manages to do so much with so little. The framing and camerawork are often incredible, both in the static "courtoom" scenes and in the dynamic forest and medium scenes. The medium and the woman's breakdown in the last version of the story unexpectedly really creeped me out.

You're brought to doubt the reality of what you see on screen, something we usually take for granted. The unseen interrogator, the audience, can keep questioning the characters, but the truth is left for interpretation.

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Wakefield

With sharp tonal shifts from dramatic to comedic and from introspective to genuinely creepy, Wakefield manages to be an entertaining watch for all of its runtime. Cranston really gives a powerhouse performance here. He was nominated for Trumbo, but I think he's even better in this, carrying the whole movie on his shoulders with a solitary and varied performance, making his unlikable Howard Wakefield a sympathetic character.

An interesting take on middle-age crisis, and how it affects the protagonist and the people around him.

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Gifted

Despite being traditional in execution and not really anything groundbreaking, Gifted succeeds on an emotional level and really seems a return to his comfort zone for director Marc Webb.

Chris Evans is perfectly serviceable in one of the few non-Marvel movies we've seen him in in the last couple of years, but the real revelation is young McKenna Grace, that strikes a rare equilibrium between cute and, well, gifted.

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Okja

One of the first truly great Netflix Original Movies, along with Beasts of No Nation.

After the success of Snowpiercer, Bong Joon-ho provides another original, timely and thought-provoking movie, with themes that deeply resonate in today's society.

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Uncle Buck

Despite not being Hughes' finest movie, Uncle Buck is still a funny, endearing and ultimately moving family movie. I slightly prefer John Candy in the hysterical Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but his performance here exudes once again a charm and love that are impossible to resist.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
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2017-04-26T21:42:18Z— updated 2018-01-04T15:16:46Z

To call this another Marvel winner would be an understatement.

Volume 2 is the best cinematic experience I've had in a long time. The action is great, the various cameos hilarious, the effects awe-inspiring and the laughs frequent and well-placed (one of the few gripes I had with Doctor Strange). And in the midst of all this, what really drives the story and keeps the audience interested is the character development. The heroes with which we fell in love in Volume 1 become deeper and multilayered, and the new additions add fantastic new dynamics.

While still falling victim to some minor storytelling tropes, GotG2 is the epitome of the spectacle movie.

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Kong: Skull Island

What Kong: Skull Island may lack in substance, it makes up for with sheer excitement.

Finally, a thrilling adventure movie, like in the olden days, but with the added creative possibilities offered by modern technology. Breathtaking scenery, a straightforward plot and jaw-dropping action sequences make this new Kong iteration a thoroughly entertaining movie, with Vogt-Roberts' dynamic direction not allowing for an instant of dullness. And the colors! In an era in which each movie has to be desaturated to feel epic, Kong really felt as a breath of fresh air.

The movie isn't without its faults though, mainly regarding some underdeveloped characters that are clearly cannon fodder, a bit of over-reliance on the tone contrast between comedic and tragic and some rapidly switching character motivations. It could really have used 15 minutes more.

These faults are, however, dwarfed by the pure experience. An incredible visual treat with no shortage of excitement. Solid 7.5.

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