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|55 31%||The Witches of Eastwick (1987) - Sep 21, 2020|
|60 37%||Winner Take All (1932) - Sep 20, 2020
"The general class of roles for Black actors seemed to decline sharply with the end of the pre-code era. Clarence Muse has a relatively substantial and un-jivey part here as Cagney's trainer, speaking on equal terms with the white characters (and with no highlighting of his race) to an extent extinct a few years later. Film is the rare boxing pic that begins with a mangled hero on the decline and all but punch-drunk. Coulda been a pre-code FAT CITY if Cagney's character wasn't such a moron"
|90 88%||First Person (2000) - Sep 20, 2020
"I had this whole review about how it's nuts that with all the true crime crud no one's made a movie about true crime author Sondra "Serenaded in Court By the Killer She Loved" London (look her up) but then I watched the ep with former Kaczynski confidante Gary Greenberg, who had a weird feud with Michael Mello, whose Kaczynski book I just heartily endorsed in another mini-review, and who does not come off well at all in Greenberg's account, but then we don't really hear much. Anyway great show"
|45 21%||Manhunt: Unabomber (2017) - Sep 18, 2020
"Working the "linguistic forensics" of Don Foster into the über-composite lead cop character is a monumentally dumb decision that the series never really overcomes. The sections focusing on Henry Murray and MKUltra are atrocious in style and sub-Simple-English-Wikipedia in intellectual heft. Please, please instead read Alston Chase's 'A Mind for Murder' or especially the late Michael Mello's 'The United States of America vs. Theodore John Kaczynski: Ethics, Power, and the Making of the Unabomber"
|80 72%||Chronicle of a Summer (1961) - Sep 17, 2020|
|75 62%||Golden Gloves (1961) - Sep 17, 2020
"Similar in content and structure to Kubrick's DAY OF THE FIGHT, down to the brother boxers, with the more staid, newsreel-type elements memorably transformed in the loose, inventive, irreverent style peculiar to Québec's direct cinema. The slight change in subject matter is also fitting: not experienced pros but promising amateurs, giving Groulx and the whole crew (Brault, Jutra, Gosselin) opportunity for a vivid portrait of working-class Montreal of the time, as experienced by Black newcomers"
|65 43%||Day of the Fight (1951) - Sep 17, 2020|
|60 37%||In the Spirit (1990) - Sep 17, 2020
"Thoroughly odd comic thriller/new age satire with a supremely snarky Elaine May in a role written for her by daughter Jeannie Berlin, who's great early on as a needy hooker. Despite echoes of DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN and the like, it reminded me more of a Jane Bowles story. But the gags and turns probably needed a tighter and more dynamic style, particularly toward the end--one crucial bit falls completely flat. Still a consistently interesting curio, and they don't often come with better casts"
|50 25%||The Five (2016) - Sep 16, 2020
"The first community transfer of Coben-19 (sorry) is less frenetically paced than them what would follow, but the po-face doesn't help the routine material. Though Fagbenle doing his best D'Onofrio-on-Law&Order is kinda fun. Hannah Arterton is 2 kewt 2 be 4gotten"
|50 25%||The Stranger (2020) - Sep 13, 2020
"Europe has been swept by Harlan Coben. Six series since 2015. France, England, Poland. Not hard to see why. They're very propulsive, occasionally canny in plot with cute hooks and exploit contemporary anxieties about technology unearthing all our buried secrets and lies (meaning they don't have much to do with what there really is to be anxious about). This one ends with the kind of comically blunt statements of theme that do not bode well for creators' confidence in our supposed sophistication."