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|65 45%||The Mortuary Collection (2019) - Nov 11, 2022
"Deserves credit for being one of the few horror anthologies to follow DEAD OF NIGHT's lead in scaling back on the early entries in length and intensity to serve the rhythm of the whole, as well as using the frame characters' reactions/interactions to build suspense and interest. Brown looks like he's having fun, Custer shows a spark, and there's a nice, cynical sense of humour throughout (the second story nails the needed satire-without-sanctimony sweet spot). Big finale's a bit of a letdown."
|65 45%||The War Room (1993) - Nov 07, 2022
"Easy to see why so many viewers took to Carville and Stephanopoulos as "personalities", harder to understand how any could have come away with a remotely positive impression of the American electoral process. Neither here nor there perhaps, but it's hard for me to get excited about the "objective" procedural details of a horse's ass race (the goal being to make the other guy look like one for one more day than you do). I did like seeing Carville ream out a WaPorter. And run game on Mary Matalin."
|80 73%||Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry (2016) - Sep 04, 2022
"A unique film about writing, in that it's actually about farming. And I mean really about farming, and thus capital and technology; "progress" and "tradition"; freedom and family and care. The filmmakers' efforts to express something about the interrelations of these things owe much to Malick (who exec. produced), but the let's say firmness of purpose in Berry's voiceovers ensures a different effect entirely. I don't think it quite comes off like it coulda, but as a devotee I adored it."
|70 53%||The Wrecking Crew (2008) - Aug 31, 2022
"Directed by Tommy Tedesco's non-director son, so unsurprisingly somewhat sloppily and sentimentally slanted toward Sr., but the home-cobbled hang-out feel adds a certain complementary something to the stories. And hey, he kept in his dad's "If there were sexual harassment suits, [Carol Kaye] would be seven millionaires with what we put her through." (She grins and bears it as well as one assumes she did then.) Love Leon Russell looking like a Dixie Mafia godfather. And Kent Hartman's book."
|70 53%||Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me (2014) - Aug 30, 2022
"Reservations re exploitation are understandable, but inasmuch as there is redeeming value in frankly depicting the horrors of neurodegenerative diseases, this is a sensitive and powerful treatment with an "interesting" central figure. It's emphasized early what a total motherfucker of a guitarist Campbell was, "paid off" in his muscle memory fucking every mother in the house onstage while his conscious mind can't even finish a sentence. His addiction issues present still more poignant shadows."
|45 21%||Yesterday (2019) - Aug 12, 2022
"I mean...it's a kid's movie, right? Cute hook with juvenile treatment of unrequited love and predictable moralistic conclusion tying everything up in a ludicrously tidy little bow. Did the girl the producer ends up with even have any lines before that? And I really, really hate but also kind of love but mostly really, really hate that the Lennon-and-McCartney-backstage bit only exists for phony tension in the trailer. McKinnon at least is wonderful. Ed Sheeran snot."
|70 53%||Relax... It's Just Sex (1998) - Aug 12, 2022
"Some summaries reveal a plot point it's best to be ignorant of, but suffice it to say this is queer cinema far from Araki in aesthetic but with at least a little of his abandon. Equally daring today is its vision of inclusion: a group of mostly-queer friends can include a pair of devoutly Christian gays, a radical Black artist/AIDS denialist and his HIV-positive boyfriend, and get along fine in love, support, and tolerance. Sadly, Winfield, Tyrrell, and Cassel are wasted, but Tilly is great."
|55 32%||Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine (2003) - Jun 01, 2022
"Amateurish but effective muckraking despite the later revelation that The Move was the result not of human intervention, but Deep Blue randomizing itself out of a loop. Watching with this knowledge the programmers' refusal to divulge it every step of the way ends up adding weight to the film's account of what happens when such a contest is conceived and executed for profit and publicity rather than science and fellowship. Of course, the filmmakers' own neglect of the possibility is a fatal flaw."
|90 89%||O.J.: Made in America (2016) - May 02, 2022
"I'd like to single out one amazing sequence, in which F. Lee Bailey maintains the lie, effortlessly regurgitating what he well knows is total crap, while Barry Scheck, who still has major PR stock to manage, cannot bring himself to, strenuously equivocating under Edelman's admirably direct questioning. Somewhat understandably, Clark and Darden still get off too easy. Less understandably: no discussion on the merits of Ito's decision to allow the trial to be televised in the first place."
|75 64%||Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) - Apr 11, 2022|