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Train to Busan (2016)
Life-or-death survival begins.
Filmmaker(s): Yeon Sang-ho

When a zombie virus pushes Korea into a state of emergency, those trapped on an express train to Busan must fight for their own survival.

Ahead of schedule This is simply a hectic escape film, where all the attention is toward anticipating where the viewer thinks it is going and staying a half step ahead. I’d say it is remarkable in how well it succeeds; I cannot recall it ever being...


Published April 20, 2024
| Categorised as New Comments, Twos |
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Dinotrux (2015–2017)

Half dinosaur, half construction truck, full-on fun! Watch giant Ty Rux, his little buddy Revvit and the crew come face-to-face with evil D-Structs.

Inner Toys My kids have outgrown this by a few years; I suppose it takes that long to have the tendency fade to dismiss it as trivial. I actually have a rather high opinion of this now. These types of things have three layers. There’s the...


Published April 20, 2024
| Categorised as New Comments, Twos |
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Jojo Rabbit (2019)
It's definitely not a good time to be a Nazi
Filmmaker(s): Taika Waititi

A World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.

Multipurpose knives I think I would like to hang out with Taika. At any rate, I believe him to be a genuinely good man in a business fraught with otherwise. I actually like when a personal style is deeply reflected in a film or collection, and...


Published April 9, 2024
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The Third Murder (2017)
Everyone has a truth to want to believe.
Filmmaker(s): Hirokazu Kore-eda

A lawyer tasked with defending a robbery-and-murder suspect begins developing doubts about what truly happened.

Wandering narratives You only have a few choices in film, alas. So when a filmmaker wants an adventure in narrative form, they are constrained. I come to these not for the experience, but to see the choices that have been made and whether they are effective. This...


Published March 24, 2024
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Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)
Some missions are not a choice.
Filmmaker(s): Christopher McQuarrie

When an IMF mission ends badly, the world is faced with dire consequences. As Ethan Hunt takes it upon himself to fulfill his original briefing, the CIA begin to question his loyalty and his motives. The IMF team find themselves in a race against time, hunted by assassins while trying to prevent a global catastrophe.

Rebecca Again Tom does his badass stuff. I don’t know how far he can take this, and how long we will care. But there is something going on here in the MI universe. Now in this film we have history. The universe matters. A bad guy...


Published March 21, 2024
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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)
Desperate times. Desperate measures.
Filmmaker(s): Christopher McQuarrie

Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet—eradicating 'The Syndicate', an International and highly-skilled rogue organization committed to destroying the IMF.

The Woman After the disaster that I consider ‘Barbie’ and the very mixed feelings I have about ‘Wonder Woman’, I’ve been sensitive to how women are often portrayed in action films, how I feel about it, and what would be better. I completely forget what came after...


Published March 9, 2024
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Searching (2018)
No one is lost without a trace.
Filmmaker(s): Aneesh Chaganty

After David Kim's 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter's laptop.

Folded Detection As you will know, this is ostensibly all from a few computer screens, manipulated by the father of a missing teen girl. He is searching her various histories, supplemented by internet searches. As a detective, this constitutes the clues. The actual story is also...


Published March 1, 2024
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Unstoppable (2010)
1,000,000 Tons. 100,000 Lives. 100 Minutes.
Filmmaker(s): Tony Scott

A runaway train, transporting deadly, toxic chemicals, is barreling down on Stanton, Pennsylvania, and proves to be unstoppable until a veteran engineer and young conductor risk their lives to try and stop it with a switch engine.

Unmovable Tracks If we cannot get movies that matter, at least we can get movies that engage, and this one does. This one does, and I think there are three devices consciously used. One is plainly obvious, the cinematic energy that Scott knows how to deliver. There...


Published February 23, 2024
| Categorised as IMDB Comments, Threes |
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The Switch (2010)
The most unexpected comedy ever conceived.
Filmmaker(s): Josh Gordon, Will Speck

Kassie is a smart, fun-loving single woman who, despite her neurotic best friend Wally’s objections, decides it’s time to have a baby – even if it means doing it herself… with a little help from a charming sperm donor. But, unbeknownst to her, Kassie’s plans go awry because of a last-minute switch that isn’t discovered until seven years later… when Wally gets acquainted with Kassie’s cute, though slightly neurotic, son.

Unseminal Pity the poor studio executive. The mainstay of the entire movie business is the romantic comedy. That is to say: the romance that does not challenge. Without this, the bottom falls out of the financial infrastructure because they are cheap and reliable. But more: the...


Published February 23, 2024
| Categorised as IMDB Comments, Ones |
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Tangled (2010)
They're taking adventure to new lengths.
Filmmaker(s): Byron Howard, Nathan Greno

When the kingdom's most wanted-and most charming-bandit Flynn Rider hides out in a mysterious tower, he's taken hostage by Rapunzel, a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair. Flynn's curious captor, who's looking for her ticket out of the tower where she's been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief and the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse, an over-protective chameleon and a gruff gang of pub thugs.

Drawing Love Sometimes the inner narrative is clear. The outer narrative is fine enough to sell tickets to parents, thinking this is what their kids want and their kids returning the favour. You’ll have to read elsewhere for how well this is done. What fascinates me is...


Published February 23, 2024
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