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  • City of Gold

    City of Gold 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 05 Apr, 2016

    It's good, largely because of its great subject, but if Gabbert had used one more cutaway to the downtown freeway interchange I mighta snapped. Oftentimes, she perplexingly uses images of Downtown when Gold is talking about completely different neighborhoods. Thom Anderson would have a field day.

  • Meet the Blacks

    Meet the Blacks 2016

    Watched 01 Apr, 2016

    While I cannot recommend the new comedy Meet the Blacks on artistic grounds, as it almost completely falls flat in the humor department, a part of me hopes that it does well at the box office. Why? Because if the film makes any commercial waves, it will more likely than not initiate an important discussion on what, exactly, constitutes a parody in an era in which the line between “fair use” and lack of originality has become problematically muddled.

    In…

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  • Compliance

    Compliance 2012

    ½ Watched 11 Jan, 2013 27

    There are two reasons that Craig Zobel could have decided to make Compliance, both equally wrongheaded:

    1) Zobel simply wanted to expose this case (and, by extension, the others like it) to the world, without any sort of greater message. While I don't buy this as the filmmaker's motivation for a second, some people have argued such, so I'll address it...

    Put simply: text-based reporting, as had already been done extensively in this case (meaning, no further examination was really…

  • Take Shelter

    Take Shelter 2011

    ★★★★★ Added 1

    The best film of 2011 is also the most criminally under-seen. Blue-collar, Midwestern father Curtis LaForche is either developing paranoid schizophrenia or accurately prophesizing the apocalypse — a binary that could have all too easily become fodder for hokey metaphor. But with writer/director Jeff Nichols and actor Michael Shannon at the helm (their second film together, following 2007’s Shotgun Stories), Curtis becomes one of the most authentically human characters in the history of cinema. He may be the symbolic fulcrum…