jess kroll

live and write and nothing else matters.


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Posted by jesskroll on December 7, 2012 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Argo, 2012

4 /5

With three films, ranging from excellent to decent, Affleck has truly found his place as a reliable, workman-like director. His third effort, Argo, is very good in almost every respect, without being particularly great in any of them. The result is an immensely enjoyable, fast-paced, suspenseful yet amusing thriller that is highly entertaining to watch but doesn’t ...

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Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

Posted by jesskroll on November 18, 2012 at 3:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, 2011

3.5 / 5

It’s impossible to watch Being Elmo without remembering the false accusations against Kevin Clash and the true admission which resulted. Of course, none of that is addressed here, and it’s not necessary, yet the documentary feels superficial. We learn of Clash’s journey to stardom, how he turned a childhood passion into deserve...

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Posted by jesskroll on November 16, 2012 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Looper, 2012

4.5 / 5

Early in Looper a character watches his own extremities disappear. The scene is intense, shocking, among the most horrifying in recent cinema, and undeniably amazing. Looper has a sense of innovation and inventiveness that makes every new revelation pure enjoyment. It’s rare that an American filmmaker would be so assured or brave but Rian Johnson’s true achievement...

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Posted by jesskroll on November 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Skyfall, 2012

4 / 5

Since their reboot in Casino Royale, the Bond movies have added some much need toughness. This time there’s a bit of heart as well. Daniel Craig is typically stone-faced, but Judy Dench finally receives screen time befitting her. Similarly, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a great Bond villain and Javier Bardem is it: dangerous, intelligent, driven, believable...

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Search your feelings. You know it's true.

Posted by jesskroll on October 31, 2012 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Magic Mike

Posted by jesskroll on October 19, 2012 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Magic Mike, 2012

2 / 5

I am secure enough as a heterosexual male to watch Soderbergh’s male stripper movie, open-minded enough to try to appreciate it as art and honest enough to say, as with subject, I am perhaps not in the film’s target audience. The focus is on Channing Tatum, who proves again that he’s unlikely to take first place in a Channing Tatum impersonation contest, leaving...

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Posted by jesskroll on October 6, 2012 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Prometheus, 2012

3.5 / 5

The difference between (most) literary science fiction and (most) cinematic sci-fi is the depth of ideas portrayed in the material, as well as the use of specific visuals and not the audience’s imagination. Prometheus begins with a standard but solid literary SF premise, scientists searching for the origin of life, but ends in a typically sci-fi fashion. Between these are ...

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Cabin in the Woods

Posted by jesskroll on October 1, 2012 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Cabin in the Wood, 2011

3 / 5

Caution, may contain spoilers. There are two potential ways to view Cabin in the Woods, and two ways in which it may have been constructed, as entertainment or as criticism. Cabin in the Woods attempts to make the most of both and, unfortunately, is less for it. The concept of the film, established in the opening scene, makes the first half feel pointless as character...

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Posted by jesskroll on September 2, 2012 at 5:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Visioneers, 2008

4 / 5

Visioneers establishes its bizarre world from the first scene: single-finger salutes, minute-by-minute workweek countdowns, and a co-worker who plays Russian roulette to keep from exploding. This is fortunate as dispensing the silliness as quickly as possible allows the rest of its quirks to be seen dark satire and not pure ridiculousness. Of the two central conceits – that ...

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Posted by jesskroll on August 30, 2012 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Robocop, 1987

4 / 5

A lot has changed since Robocop’s debut in 1987, what was once an extreme level of gore, to the point of morbid humor, is actually pretty tame. Similarly, its effects and action pacing are badly dated. Nonetheless, the inclusion of social satire, in the form of bizarre commercials for nuclear board games, comments on gentrification and capitalism and the still-prescient idea of...

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