Movie – Closed Circuit: C

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There are so many “the government is watching” films out there, and Closed Circuit does not rank among the best of them. I simply never really cared about what was going on. There were a few tense scenes done decently well, but then came the horrendous ending that negated the entire film. The villains won and no one learned anything, least of all the viewer.

Movie – Man of Tai Chi: C

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Keanu Reeves’ first crack at directing doesn’t exactly make me hopeful for a second. He obviously likes martial arts, and when the fighting is on display, the action stands up well with the genre. It sticks with a tried but true story, but Keanu’s own scenes are stiff and deliberate. His character tries way too hard to look and sound evil. The camera work is mostly well done, with an interesting tilted angle during a few of the fights, though there was one scene of truly terrible CGI.

Movie – Olympus Has Fallen: C

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Events happened as the plot needed them, rather than attempting any semblance of believability. The villain’s logic was riddled with more holes than the annoyingly incompetent secret service men who were slaughtered so pointlessly. The “good guys” weren’t much better in the decision-making department though. It was so hard to feel concern for characters I thought were so dumb. The initial attack was fairly actiony, but it’s hard to enjoy the game if your team is losing by a wide margin. The action picks up, allowing Gerard Butler to Die-Hard his way through the White House, but never amounts to much and is littered with terrible CG.

Movie – The Man with the Iron Fists: C

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It certainly felt like an authentic kung-fu film, right down to the dialog so terrible it sounded like a bad dub. The characters filled their niches and I loved their various specialties/weapons/costumes. The sets looked great too. But when Dave Bautista gives one of the best performances of your film, something is wrong. I’m not sure how Russel Crowe wandered onto this set, but he looked like was having fun. The actual kung-fuing was pretty standard wire-jumping, nothing special.

Movie – Broken City: C

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Broken City was so bland I can barely recall the flavor. Perhaps I was tapped out on political thrillers after watching House of Cards and The Killing. Wahlberg, Crowe, and Catherine Zeta Jones all portrayed their boring characters admirably while the story lumbered on around them. You’ll forget this film while the credits are still rolling.

Movie – The Master: C

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With all the competent film technique and acting prowess this film flung at me, you think I’d like it more. But alas, nothing significant caught my attention. I think I wanted a harsher attack on scientology. Not that it portrayed the subject lightly. It just meandered a bit too much for my tastes.

Movie – Flight: C

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Flight is not so much a story as it is a PSA on substance abuse. The interesting premise was watered down with so much blatant symbolism and plot pandering that it couldn’t really develop. Occasionally good. Mostly not. The Denzel was his usual Denzelness. I always enjoy Don Cheadle.