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1,000 Times Good Night rate me!
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Annabelle 3.67
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Zero Theorem, The 3.79
"PERKINS or (Alfie, Please Use Your Brain)"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "Those of you who have been reading my reviews for a while will no doubt know that I apparently have a soft spot in my heart (not to mention head) for super-stylish and wildly executed action extravaganzas--this is the guy, after all, who put "Bullet to the Head" on his 10 Best list for last year and who more or less revers Luc Besson as a saint of the cinema. And yet, even I am somewhat in awe of "John Wick," a film so cheerfully excessive that it is at the over-the-top stage right at the start and only proceeds to push things further and further as things progress until I wasn't sure whether I was seeing the dumbest movie ever made or some kind of cockeyed masterpiece even after the end credits were unrolling. Now that I have had a couple of weeks to mull it over, I think that I am finally leaning toward the latter. Yes, it is incredibly dumb and its excesses are so pronounced that anyone attempting a straightforward critical analysis may well go completely mad in the process. However, it displays the kind of craziness that is so profound and serenely self-confident in its lunacy that I have to bow to it--this is easily the most demented action extravaganza to hit theaters since "Lucy" and by far the most entertaining to boot." (more)
"A 3D theatrical Saturday morning cartoon, which is perfectly fine."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "The Saturday morning cartoon block officially became a thing of a past this fall, although every obituary has mentioned that television now has more animation than ever; it just migrated to syndication and then cable. What emerged was a different sort of cartoon, more irreverent and as likely to reflect an individual creator's aesthetic as a company's house style (which, as a side-effect, often makes them more authentically multicultural). "The Book of Life" is that progression making its way to theaters, a high-energy animated adventure with style and a big-screen voice cast." (more)
"Short life, long movie, both well worth it."
5 stars
Jay Seaver says... "Most of the descriptions of Xiao Hong biography "The Golden Era" spend some time talking about what made her remarkable as a writer, and the film does give those of us not terribly familiar with 1930s Chinese literature a bit of a taste of her words and why they are remembered despite her short career and life. But while the focus is less on what she created and more on how what she wanted - a "quiet place to write" - was elusive, the way in which screenwriter Li Qiang and director Ann Hui tell the story is often what will be the most striking." (more)
"Quite well drawn."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "One of the neat things about "Art and Craft" is that it hints at a number of different angles to an already-interesting story, acknowledging that it is all but impossible to fit the entirety of a tale of art forgery and con artistry that spans decades into a ninety-minute documentary produced at the tail end. Faced with this situation, many filmmakers will wind up calling attention to the gaps rather than maintaining a sharp focus that allows them to make a strong movie with the material they can get." (more)

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