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Starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, David Huddleston, Julianne Moore, Tara Reid, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ben Gazzara, John Turturro & Sam Elliott

Directed by Joel Coen

After all the hype I finally found some time to sit down and watch this one. And I’ve got to say I simply don’t get it. The hype, the allure and the status it has developed and maintained these past eighteen years.

This isn’t the first time I’ve gone against the grain and derided a film everybody loves, but this isn’t that simple. It’s a real head-scratcher. This is a film so highly regarded it possesses a devoted cult following of “achievers”, who host and attend a festival as well as follow its philosophical teachings. How can I not love it?

But I don’t. I didn’t hate it, but I believe the hype precedes the film itself. I must have expected too much and much like the reviewers, whose opinions have changed as time has passed, a repeat viewing may be in order. But for now I’m sitting on the fence.

MRD 5 of 10

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Starring Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller & Vanessa Redgrave

Directed by Bennett Miller

Some actors out there just have that ability in them, and yet they either waste their talents or stay content with what they’re doing. Foxcatcher is Steve Carrell breaking out of this cycle and reminding us that he isn’t all that bad at what he does.

Mark Ruffalo backs him the only way he can, while Channing Tatum is Channing Tatum as Channing Tatum. But the stand-out here is Carrell. I’m a couple of years late with my praise, but in retrospect Foxcatcher will be remembered for the kick-start of this man’s career.

MRD 8 of 10

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Starring Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Jeffrey Dean Morgan & Matthew Goode

Directed by Zack Snyder

Who would have thought that this would be a sign of things to come seven years later? I challenge you to give Watchmen a second viewing, if you can afford the three-plus hours, and ignore the tell-tale signs. They were there, but we didn’t know any better, and now look at what we’ve got…

What’s worse is Watchmen isn’t all that bad of a film. The gratuitously bloated superhero epic can be pulled off, but it needs to be precise. Watchmen isn’t perfect by any means, but it’s incredibly unique in style and delivery and the adapted story is one of the best in comic history. Of course it works, but do we attribute that success to director Snyder or were the seeds already planted? As far as I’m concerned, as of 2016 the jury is out.

MRD 6 of 10

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