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Non-Review Review: RED 2

Red 2 is a stronger film than Red, although it’s still not quite a wholly satisfying cinematic experience. There’s a certain charm to watching all these veteran stars reuniting on the screen together, with a considerably lighter touch than The Expendables. What’s interesting about Red 2 isn’t a dearth of good ideas or interesting hooks in the set-up of this sequel, it’s just a littler rushed, a little unfocused, a little disjointed. However, Red 2 generally moves so fast that these problems never quite reach critical mass. The result is more-than-occasionally great fun, but also just a little too light for its own good.

Growing old disgracefully...

Growing old disgracefully…

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Non-Review Review: Broken City

Broken City seems like an ironic title for a movie that seems to take so much pride in being functional. Broken City is a political investigative thriller, a subgenre that has produced any number of genuinely classic films. However, while Broken City doesn’t really excel in any true sense, it does take a great deal of care in making sure that everything works, that everything is assembled with enough care, and that there’s no real discordant note to be heard. Broken City isn’t a very good film on its own merits, but it manages to avoid being an overly bad one.

Broken marriage...

Broken marriage…

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Non-Review Review: Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages actually works quite well as a microcosm of the eighties – in both good and bad ways. It is loud, entertaining, engaging, shallow, beautifully constructed, hypocritical, energetic, charming, tasteless and somehow strangely irresistible in places. While the movie doesn’t necessarily always work, it is a perfect piece of cultural counter-programming to the summer’s sporting events. Light, fun and just a little dazed and confused, Rock of Ages is self-aware enough that it never collapses under its own weight. While it’s unlikely to be remembered as the best of the summer, it is a charmingly cheesy (if occasionally clumsy) power ballad musical that does exactly what it says on the tin.

He’s already made his marker…

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Non-Review Review: Ocean’s Thirteen

I have a soft spot for Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Thirteen. Yes, it’s big and vacuous and ultimately empty, with a bunch of celebrities sitting around and enjoying each other’s company, but it’s also fun and diverting, composed by a director with a wonderful eye. I’d argue that it’s almost as solid as Ocean’s Eleven, and a damn sight stronger than Ocean’s Twelve.

In con men circles, that would be called "the Selleck"...

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