Terminator Salvation (2009)

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In 2018, a mysterious new weapon in the war against the machines, half-human and half-machine, comes to John Connor on the eve of a resistance attack on Skynet. But whose side is he on, and can he be trusted? (IMDb)
Man vs. machine, with the women relegated to giving tearful goodbye kisses. Kate’s pregnant but no one cares, Blair’s action is limited to the dumb prisoner break-out that just circles back to a conclusion that could’ve been arrived at a minute after Marcus’ arrival if the men just had a damn conversation. The climax is a mess even without CGI Arnold. Functional enough as an action-thriller but with bad moments that drag it down and overshadow its better ones (see Marcus’ Skynet self-discovery).
6/10 (Mediocre)

 

Ocean’s Eight (2018)

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Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s yearly Met Gala. (IMDb)
A great cast of characters led by Bullock’s brazen Debbie (“It’s what I’m good at”), Blanchett’s badass Lou (that strut!), and Hathaway’s hilarious baddie (see her necklace moans) are let down a bit by a less colourful script that too often feels like a tame retread of familiar territory. Still fun though (deflating first twist aside), with some good comedy especially in the post-heist kerfuffle carried by Corden’s earnest insurance agent (“You’ve got two of those!”). Great soundtrack too.
6.5/10 (Alright)

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (2013)

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A ten-year-old cartographer secretly leaves his family’s ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother and travels across the country aboard a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute. (IMDb)

Quirkily creative storytelling (namely, T.S.’ charming mix of childlike and brilliant science-laden narration; the imaginative camerawork and visual aids–see his suitcase packing, in-screen shots) and vividly coloured cinematography present a compelling tale part tragic Americana family portrait, part indie road trip fare (the weakest act of the three with a couple unintentionally creepy characters) and part surreal and macabre vision of mass media manipulation. A fresh-feeling film well-acted.

7.5/10 (Really Good)