The Wire

‘Fruitvale Station’ powerfully acted, but slightly scattered as a whole

Fruitvale Station is a series of vignettes searching in vain for connective tissue. Its anchor is the excellent young actor Michael B. Jordan, and while he and the other performers in this dramatization of a harrowing recent tragedy are all solid, the final product is still a bit too scattered to make an impact, despite the moment-to-moment resonance.

‘Pacific Rim’ a sometimes thrilling fever-dream mishmash of summer movie tropes

If Calvin and Hobbes, those most delightful and beloved comic-strip characters, made a monster movie out of one of their fever-dream playtime japes, it would probably look a great deal like Pacific Rim. The sweaty, breathless determination with which the film’s main concept plays out, as well as how frequently it aims to top itself, is both charming and a mild hindrance. (Cartoonist Bill Watterson was able to get away with such boyhood tomfoolery because he was working with a much shorter amount of space and time.) Co-writer and director Guillermo del Toro has broken free of his almost quaint, homemade style in Pacific Rim, delivering, in many ways, the ultimate summer movie, for good and ill.

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