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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

#2,096: The Imitation Game

You Only Live Twice - ★★½☆☆
I'm sure I've got a few 007 movies I haven't checked off on my list because I can't really tell them apart. I watched this one because I wanted to see one with Blofeld, who doesn't turn out to spend much time on screen here. What I took away from You Only Live Twice is that it is a ridiculous movie. Large plotless expanses based on shiny things the filmmakers heard about somewhere. Atrocious spying. And a case study in why Bond was originally described as someone who does not use disguises. On the other hand, at least 007 does stuff in this one, so it's still a cut above Goldfinger.

Rampage: Capital Punishment - ★☆☆☆☆
The original was sensationalist, but kind of interesting and had a fun turn at the end. The sequel is smaller in every way. Early on I wondered if the director imagined he was making a real point or was just hiding behind one in order to have some fun with casual violence. Luckily, he included 45 minutes of preachy filler to put an answer to that one.
Big Eyes - ★★★☆☆
If not for the famous actors, this would have been made-for-TV. It's basically fine, but you'd never guess Tim Burton was behind it. Come for the scenes of Christoph Waltz as he Christoph Waltzes around with his deliberate diction and slightly unbelievable angry faces, stay for Amy Adams' collection of crazy wigs!
The Imitation Game - ★★★½
I liked this better than Big Eyes, and had to think about why. It's probably less authentic to its source material, but it certainly has grander ambitions, with the intertwined time periods. It might just be that I prefer espionage to paintings of sad children. (Although, this movie -does- have sad children...) I understand that folks are upset with what this movie gets wrong about Turing's life, and the 'present day' bits do feel like they're lacking something, but I guess I got by on this one by enjoying the abstraction of code-breaking and problem solving and the doing of secret things. Abstraction, of course, because taken literally, the mechanics of what they're doing don't make a lot of sense.