Rane has written 7 reviews for films rated ★★½ during 2017.

  • 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.)