Rane has written 9 reviews for films rated ★★★ during 2017.

  • Wonder

    Wonder

    ★★★

    Decent enough for a time-killer before Star Wars (the allusions to padowans and Chewbacca were a strange but pleasant coincidence) and Chbosky manages to find some genuine grace notes for such a baldly manipulative feel-good flick.

    (Interesting how we see almost everyone's parents except Justin's mom, though. Hm.)

  • Thor: Ragnarok

    Thor: Ragnarok

    ★★★

    Well, it's definitely the funniest of the Thor movies. And, um...Cate Blanchett's in it? Yep, I think that covers everything.

  • The Princess Bride

    The Princess Bride

    ★★★

    I wish I liked this film better, I really do. As it stands...eh.

  • The Guest

    The Guest

    ★★★

    Everybody told me to check out Adam Wingard and THE GUEST. Nobody told me he was a total goofball.

  • A Ghost Story

    A Ghost Story

    ★★★

    Very reminiscent of GOODBYE, DRAGON INN. And I really didn't like GOODBYE, DRAGON INN.

    Not sure I was emotionally open enough for this film's themes. That, or the idea of fleeting, near meaningless existence isn't exactly revelatory at this point.

    Also: pie is good, vaguely racist depictions of Native Americans are not.

  • Play Misty for Me

    Play Misty for Me

    ★★★

    No wonder Eastwood's still directing films almost 50 years later. Too bad his idea of terror revolves around being so sexy it drives Jessica Walter to crazed homicidal fury.

  • Beauty and the Beast

    Beauty and the Beast

    ★★★

    Wow, did Belle's father picked the absolute WORST village in France to live.

    Putting the utterly reprehensible townspeople aside, this is a Disney musical full of great songs and lovely moments. Belle is a great character, ernest but with a sharp mind, and she's never made to seem helpless or overly meek. This version shares a crucial flaw with Cocteau's 1946 adaptation in that they both rush key development for the eponymous couple, but the small scenes of the two…

  • John Wick: Chapter 2

    John Wick: Chapter 2

    ★★★

    Still fun, with some great set pieces in Roman catacombs and a po-mo art installation, but missing the first movie's formal cleanliness. I continue to be fascinated with the various men in this universe who choose to react violently even in instances where it's clearly unnecessary (and foolish). Didn't care for the sequel-bait ending, as it ignores exactly why the first film deserved a sequel in the first place. If you're so excited about this clearly-superior idea for a John Wick movie, why not just skip this franchise bridge and make that movie instead?

  • 20th Century Women

    20th Century Women

    ★★★

    Well-meaning and good-natured, but never really vibed with the film as a whole. Great performances all around, despite a clunky and meandering script jumbling characters atop one another - an effect probably intended by Mills, with mixed results. Cinematically, the camera moves generically (pushing in for emphasis, pulling out for a scene change) and editing flourishes accomplish little more than surface effect. The 70's period never feels fully evoked, obviously intended to expand thematic scope but rarely becoming more than…