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  • Zombieland: Double Tap

    Zombieland: Double Tap

    ★★★

    Zombieland: Double Tap goes down so much easier when I think of it as a comedy rather than a zombie film. It doesn't contain a single non-gag, let alone a moment of real horror, that has any staying power. I suspect Ruben Fleischer knows this, but that hasn't stopped the filmmakers from spending a lot of time and money on monotonous CGI-enhanced zombie massacres. Thankfully, despite some indications that the comedy well might be running dry—or at least, where the…

  • Phone Booth

    Phone Booth

    ★★★½

    There's an alternate universe in which Larry Cohen convinced Alfred Hitchcock to make a version of Phone Booth in the 1960s, and this is sleazy and weird enough that I think I'd still pick Joel Schumacher's cocaine energy over whatever Hitchcock might have injected into the material.

    (And there's a lot to say for Colin Farrell frantically yelling at people for an hour and a half, but to my mind, this wouldn't feel complete without Kiefer Sutherland's gleeful amorality and mocking tone. Great casting all around.)

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  • RoboCop 2

    RoboCop 2

    ★★★½

    Robocop 2 just can’t capture what makes Paul Verhoeven’s take on the material so wonderful and transcendent. The satire is there, but it’s all over the place and therefore a bit diluted. What starts out as an interesting take on corporations and their ability to absorb and repackage potentially subversive views just culminates in lazy “corporations = Nazis” iconography. Same goes with the police material, which couldn’t have aged more poorly—a lot of jokes seem to emerge from the “totally…

  • Boss Level

    Boss Level

    ★★½

    Roy, a mercenary and absentee father, finds himself caught in a time-loop, waking up each morning pursued by the same team of assassins. I won't waste much time thinking about the narrative, because Joe Carnahan clearly didn't. Case in point: sometimes he wakes up with a partner, except for when it proves inconvenient for the beats the movie wants to hit. This is film as spectacle, and as spectacle, it's a mixed bag. A lot of jokes land with an…