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This Changeling review is not my son

Changeling review

Plot

It drew me in by being based on a true story, and didn’t let go until the credits rolled.

Characters

I didn’t know it was possible to connect this much with a movie character. If I didn’t have a favorite Angelina Jolie role yet, I do now.

If I did already have a favorite Angelina Jolie role, it’s changed to this one now.

Visuals

The muted color tones were exactly what can be expected from a movie like this.

Product Placement

Yeah, nothing here. But you knew that, right. You’re smart.

Rewatchability

I cheered, I (almost) cried, I stayed so glued to the screen that I could barely pull myself away to write any of this review.

If it wasn’t two and a half hours long, I would have watched it again immediately.

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Get those hooks out of my The Gift review!

The Gift review

Plot

It took over a third of the movie before the story really got any momentum, but once it did, it was great.

They even threw in an extra little twist right at the end after the main conflict had already been resolved.

Characters

Have you seen the cast list? I think it would be easier to talk about any actors who weren’t in this movie.

Anyway, Giovanni Ribisi proved once again why he’s at the top of my favorite actors list with this one.

Visuals

There was an excessive use of subliminal imagery for jump scare purposes.

Product Placement

They marked out the label on the Krispy Kreme box. Not quite as original as making up a fake doughnut brand, but I appreciate the effort.

Rewatchability

So good, even knowing how it ends wouldn’t affect sitting through it again…which is actually surprising to me.

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The weirdest Air America review in the room

Air America review

Plot

The DVD case said it was a comedy, but it seemed to take itself really, really seriously.

Characters

Robert Downey, Jr. being Robert Downey, Jr., and Mel Gibson being Mel Gibson. What more can I say?

Visuals

It’s getting pretty close to the cutoff date for “movies I let slip by in this category due to age”. Since nothing stood out, I’ll let it pass.

Product Placement

There were several things scattered throughout.

Rewatchability

It wasn’t awful, but I didn’t get much out of this one…and repeated viewings probably wouldn’t help.

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Does this Focus review feel sexy on your face?

Focus review

Plot

Although I did like that it occasionally caught me off guard**, the different sections of the story felt a little disjointed, and the story just kind of deflated at the end.

**Not a difficult task.

Characters

Margot Robbie and Will Smith worked pretty well together, and it’s always fun to see Major Dad Gerald McRaney show up.

Visuals

It occasionally had trouble keeping up the “sleek and sexy” feel it was going for, but it never became ugly.

Product Placement

I normally disregard sports-arena-related stuff, but come on. When corporate logos fill up 3/4ths of the screen in multiple scenes, I have to draw the line somewhere.

Rewatchability

I’ve said it before. Movies like this lose some of the charm and all of the mystery upon rewatching.

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You didn’t bring a gun to the Seven Psychopaths review?

Seven Psychopaths review

DISCLAIMER: This review, which I just rediscovered in my notes last night, was written almost 3 years ago. Would I have had the same opinion if I saw the movie now? The world may never know.

Plot

Most of the good parts were in the trailer, and the whole screenplay aspect seemed to be a (failed?) attempt at cleverness.

Characters

All of the characters were great. I just wish they had been in a better movie.

Visuals

Other than some misleading promotional material, there wasn’t anything to complain about.

Product Placement

Fake cheese curls are best cheese curls.

Rewatchability

I was planning to skip this movie, and wouldn’t really have missed much if I did.

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There are no two words in the English language more harmful than “Whiplash review”

Whiplash review

Plot

Distant, self-important, smug, uninteresting…these are (completely subjective) words I would use to describe this movie.

Characters

Max Teller showed his acting weakness during the scenes where he wasn’t near a drum.

Visuals

Another fine example of keeping a movie dark yet well-lit at the same time.

Product Placement

Could they have been any more obvious with the Pepsi machine? Sheesh.

Rewatchability

So, people enjoyed this, huh? Good for them, I guess.

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This Miss Meadows review reminds me of my grandmother’s kitchen floor

Miss Meadows review

Plot

The subtle, indirect use of elements from various fairy tales helped lend this movie a very unique “not quite taking itself completely seriously” feel.

Characters

Katie Holmes gave a quiet nervousness to her character that I don’t think anyone else could have pulled off quite as well.

Visuals

The CGI animals at the beginning were a little weird, but the ever-increasing jump cuts kept things a little jarring…on purpose.

Product Placement

This section is only fun when there’s something to complain about.

Rewatchability

I wasn’t expecting this to be any good, but I’m usually wrong, so maybe I was expecting it to be good since I expected it to not be any good.

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This Donnie Darko review doubts your commitment to Sparkle Motion

Donnie Darko review

This is a review of the Director’s Cut, which I’m pretty sure is the only way I’ve ever seen it.

Plot

I forgot how unsatisfied I’ve always been with the way certain elements in this movie are left unexplained and certain subplots are dropped.

Characters

Okay, fine. I’ll admit it. This is the only time I’ve ever enjoyed Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Visuals

I guess the Darko family got their name from the fact that they don’t ever turn any lights on in the house.

Product Placement

A movie that had this much trouble finding a studio to support it probably didn’t bother trying to also get corporate sponsors.

Rewatchability

It’s not nearly the quintessential masterpiece I perceived it to be when I was younger, but it’s still watchable nonetheless.

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For our immediate purposes, this The Whole Nine Yards review does not exist

The Whole Nine Yards review

Plot

A little too complicated for its own good, mostly because it tried to be too many things at once.

Characters

This 3 is brought to you by the way my eyes lit up when I realized Amanda Peet was in this.

Visuals

Looks okay to me, but what do I know?

Product Placement

I kept seeing Pepsi trying to sneak itself in subtly in the background…but it never quite passed the ever-changing threshold that makes me take points off.

Rewatchability

I’ve spent the last 15 years thinking this movie was about football**…so at least I cleared that up.

**In case anyone out there still believes I’m some sort of “movie expert”.

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What have you done to get my father’s The Drop review back?

The Drop review

Plot

Both plots were interesting enough that they could have stood on their own as separate movies with a little reshaping.

Characters

Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace…what’s not to love here?

Visuals

They made some interesting choices with camera focus a few times.

Product Placement

Nothing. Nothing at all.

Rewatchability

A crime drama with minimal violence? I’m all for it.

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