Rane has written 19 reviews for films rated ★★½ .

  • Irreplaceable You

    Irreplaceable You

    ★★½

    Netflix Originals (2018) #7

    Instead of watching what I'm sure was a painful Oscars ceremony, I watched this. Honestly not sure which would have resulted in less viewing displeasure, but at least this wasn't 4+ hours long.

    Like a tearjerker and rom-com were Frankenstein-ed together, with mismatching parts forcefully sewn into a lumbering, bizarre mess of of a film. Manages to maintain some emotional resonance despite itself, so I guess the simile works on that level as well. Messiness and…

  • The Ritual

    The Ritual

    ★★½

    Netflix Original (2018) #5

    Competently generic spooky-woods flick with some pagan-Norse mythology thrown in for good measure. Tense and atmospheric, but like most monster films it loses something once explanations are supplied. Still easily the best of these so far, but we'll see what the Polka King has to say about that.

  • Justice League

    Justice League

    ★★½

    Deserves the "Most Improved" Hollywood franchise award (aside from Wonder Woman) for managing to tell a purely functional story that's at least semi-coherent. Also deserves "Most Boring," "Worst Characters," "Most Soulless," "Worst Villain," "Ugliest CGI," "Worst Writing," and special recognition for Henry Caville as the "Worst Superman of All Time." But at least it isn't the incomprehensible clusterfuck of a non-movie that is BvS.

  • Thor: The Dark World

    Thor: The Dark World

    ★★½

    Revisit prior to seeing RAGNAROK, mostly because I remembered almost nothing about it. Now I see why.

  • The Curse of the Cat People

    The Curse of the Cat People

    ★★½

    More like The Curse of Childhood Alienation and Terrible Parents. Squabbling over genre qualification usually leaves me cold, but there's just no way you can call this a horror film. Makes sharp points about the confusion and sadness of being a child surrounded by adults who continually deny the validity of your perspective and feelings, but needlessly bloats the narrative with useless allusions to Sleepy Hollow lore and the eponymous Cat People. Also, there's a strong indication of child abuse in one scene, which pretty much kills any movie for me. Easily the most disappointing Lewton film yet.

  • Attack on Titan

    Attack on Titan

    ★★½

    Woof, that CGI.

  • Home Again

    Home Again

    ★★½

    Cheesier than an artisanal brunch spread, and just as substantial. There are no stakes, all conflict is laughably forced, and it even has the gall to insinuate that Nat Wolff('s character) is "one of the greatest acting talents of our generation." Still, I can't hate such offensively inoffensive white-bread fluff. There's a movie coming out in November about a behooded Bruce Willis gleefully killing people of color. I understand why people might find this just as offensive, but I think I'll save my outrage for that.

  • Death Note

    Death Note

    ★★½

    It would have been nice to get a director who doesn't obviously think the Death Note mythos is kinda dumb.

  • The Circle

    The Circle

    ★★½

    Placing the blame for this one almost solely on on original novelist (and co-screenwriter) Eggers, but somehow the changes made to his half-baked tech-as-cult narrative are even more simplistic and unsatisfying than before. 2 for 1, Ponsoldt. Don't let me down again.

    (The salt on the wound is there's a pretty quiet, effective scene 2/3 through that makes a great counterpoint to all the Luddite-ian paranoia about the positives of technology and interconnection, but for some reason Ponsoldt takes the film in a completely different and nonsensical direction.)

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    ★★½

    An empty franchise one-off with flat characters, a plodding narrative and the requisite space opera spectacle needed to buy off the fanbase. It's fine, it's okay, it's acceptable, whatever. RIP Carrie Fisher, and thank you for making me feel SOMETHING while watching this.

  • Sully

    Sully

    ★★½

    Oddball pseudo-biopic that morphs into a lifeless celebration of Sully and his Great Heroic Act, with a decent but overly-long (and overrated) takeoff-and-crash sequence sandwiched in the middle.

  • Little Men

    Little Men

    ★★½

    Takes an admirable stab at exploring the nuances, contradictions and repercussions of gentrification, but the narrative and characters are too limp to make much impact. One scene does do a nice job capturing hypocrisies in parent-child relationships, but not much else of note here.