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        Movie Reviews in 50 Words: (B)

        Batman Begins (2005)
        Christian Bale headlines in this stylish reboot of the Dark Knight, which traces the origins of the billionaire crimefighter as he engages Gotham City’s criminal element. Compared to prior entries in the series, the script and general aesthetic up the cool, downplay the kitsch, and shepherd the mythology into modernity.

        Buy it


        Being John Malkovich (1999)
        Oddly self-congratulatory vehicle crashes into vortex of weirdness when a portal to Malkovich’s consciousness is used in a love triangle to ill effect. Kaufman has since traded strangeness for relevancy, but his artsy inaugural film effort will make you want to clothe yourself entirely with objects from Pier 1 Imports.

        Bury it


        Beowulf (2007)
        Fresh from creepifying The Polar Express, Robert Zemeckis crams the exploits of the Geatish monster-killer through the motion capture machine with mixed results. The digital actors evince more life this time, along with generous dismemberment and nudity, yet the source material suffers once again under the press for visual razzle-dazzle.

        Borrow it


        Blade (1998)
        C-list actor delivers a B+ performance in one of the first flicks to portray vampires as well-coiffed ravers. It’s a tightly paced rental featuring Snipes as Blade, a hybrid vigilante who gleefully vaporizes evildoers, armed with vampiric strength and an immunity to sunlight, garlic, prayer–everything except tax evasion, evidently.

        Borrow it


        The Bourne Identity (2002)
        Damon lends a world-weary edge to Bourne, a malfunctioning government agent intent on unraveling a past that seems hell-bent on killing him. There are no gadgets or cheesy one-liners here, only a constant feeling of escape as the pace hurtles forward at a terrific clip. It’s Bond with a brain.

        Buy it


        The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
        Framed superagent Jason Bourne attempts to clear his name with his patented blend of counterespionage, parkour, and death. Whereas Identity leveraged the unknown to up the tension, the sequel loses some punch with a main adversary who just wants to be left alone. A necessary bridge to the thrilling finale.

        Borrow it


        The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
        Amnesiac assassin Bourne takes the fight to the conspirators who created him in this satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. The series is strongest during its tight, seemingly inescapable scenarios, which Ultimatum deftly dispenses. What the $30 million human weapon can’t elude, however, is a $1 billion franchise. He’ll be back.

        Buy it

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