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If you’re not already, this will make you a Geoffrey Rush fan. I don’t want to say too much about the film because it’s best enjoyed by going in clueless with no expectations. It’s so well filmed, especially the opening sequence which firmly establishes Rush’s character with little or no dialog — pure visual storytelling. Just sit back and enjoy.

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KILL ME THREE TIMES

Apparently some viewers/critics took this film seriously. I found it laugh-out-loud-funny at times. A whole buncha people — some DIY types plus an ex-husband who hires a contract killer (Simon Pegg) — want Alice (played by the very pretty Alice Braga) dead.  It has the noir sine qua non of events spiraling out of control but lots of farcical elements as well. Filmed along a beautiful stretch of coast in Western Australia.

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EX MACHINA

(spoilers ahead) Once you accept the bizarrely intricate setup (I suggest calisthenics for your suspension-of-disbelief muscle), this is a fascinating movie. I’m a sucker for anything involving the singularity and this is a truly unique approach. Ana is a marvelous mix of human and CG imagery and, as portrayed by Alicia Vikander, totally engaging as a character. You can’t blame Caleb for falling for her. Nathan’s hubris and self-imposed isolation seem over the top at times, but work for the story. I don’t want to say much more. It’s a quiet film — even the brief burst of violence is low key. It’s loaded with dialogue – but clever, intelligent dialogue. Keep your ears open. Thoughtful SF with slowly building suspense mixed with growing sexual tension.

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IT FOLLOWS

Well, this was a pleasant surprise. It has its plot holes but gets big points for originality (we don’t need another haunted house movie) with a relentless, homicidal, supernatural stalker passed on like an STD. The film doesn’t explain what it is, how it came to be, what’s its agenda. It simply is what it is and does what it does. The working class suburban setting and the real-looking teens lend the film a gritty feel. The camera work, the low budget, and the minimalist score give it a real =Halloween= vibe.  The moral dilemma presented to the characters and the audience places this a cut above the pack,

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FOCUS

Will Smith has matured into this sort of role, where he’s the teacher rather than the student.  He’s smooth, the cast is excellent (Margot Robbie is new to me but she’s easy on the eyes) and the script has some interesting scams. I didn’t feel any real chemistry between Smith and Robbie that’s no biggee.  Hardly a riveting film but I was engaged and entertained (although the end was hard to buy). A lightweight diversion.  Some days that’s all you need.

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JUPITER ASCENDING

This is a tough one.  I expected to hate it, but because of the Wachowskis’ involvement, I gave it a go. It’s bad, old-fashioned space opera from the Planet Stories days, but not as awful as you’d expect from the reviews. The visuals are super, the story is preposterous, the actors do what they can with the roles (except for Eddie Redmayne who is consistently terrible).  I love astronomical eye candy, so I guess I’m a sucker for these visuals.  You def need to check your brain at the door, but if you’re throwing a party, you could put this on your big screen with the sound off and you’d have cool wallpaper.

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SEVENTH SON

Sure it’s got Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore, but you know this by-the-numbers Joseph Campbell template by heart.  It’s been done and done a lot better.  (Hint: the boy is Luke, Bridges is Obi Wan, the black witch is Vader.) Not worth the 100 minutes.

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