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  • Thunder Force

    Thunder Force

    ★★★

    Why oh why does Melissa McCarthy insist on making movies with husband Ben Falcone? I mean, she’s one of the most naturally charismatic screen presences of our generation not to mention a tour-de-force talent at both comedy (“Spy,” “The Heat,” etc) and drama (“St. Vincent,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me”), and he’s a pleasant, casually charming supporting player who always manages to shine even in small roles. But as a director-star duo, they’re the pits: I’ve not seen “Superintelligence” but…

  • Airport '77

    Airport '77

    ★★

    I don’t know how they managed to ferment such a drop-off in quality between “Airport 1975” and this one, but the filmmakers somehow managed to make a star-studded disaster movie about a plane crashing into the ocean and sinking with its passengers still alive inside boring to the point of tears. I mean, how do you even do that?? How do you take a likable leading man like Jack Lemmon and neuter him every chance you get, undermining his character’s…

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  • Jacob's Ladder

    Jacob's Ladder

    ★★★★

    “Jacob’s Ladder” is one of those acclaimed movies that I somehow managed to avoid for some reason. Maybe it’s the portentous trailer, or the unclear nature of the storyline that never caught my attention, but I decided to casually watch it over the weekend and I was pleasantly surprised. Viewed through a modern lens, it often recalls the structure of “The Sixth Sense” or “Carnival of Souls” in order to heighten its core mystery, which leads to a series of…

  • Mortal Kombat

    Mortal Kombat

    ★★★

    From the moment the insistent, “dun dun dun” beats of “Mortal Kombat”‘s infamous theme song begins in the opening credits, every child born in the 1980s feels a little stir in their belly and a rush of adrenaline. That kind of heavy reliance on bombastic, overwhelming stimuli is exactly what’s needed for a one-on-one fighting game adapted into a fairly big-budget studio movie: The kids in the audience aren’t particularly interested in character development, narrative flow, or the exploration of…