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  • Things to Come

    Things to Come

    ★★★

    55/100
    Part 2 of Isabelle Huppert chastising cats, after Elle. I've seen this movie many times before; this is more proficient, more thematically cogent, more philosophically astute, and a lot bleaker than its compatriots, but nobody involved is stretching, or at least willing to cast the goings-on in a different key. That being said, not un-involving, although I spent most of the film thinking about either how hot Huppert is or how much Frenchies smoke (it's seriously Mad Men level). My audience was actually largely French (in Knoxville, Tennessee! What?), and I was inordinately charmed by their loud laughter at the Holland/Sarkozy joke.

  • Elle

    Elle

    ★★★★

    78/100
    Part 1 of Isabelle Huppert weekend, which is to say, I was out of town in a city with an art-house boasting more than two theaters. (Things to Come is...to come!)
    • "The man I'm looking for is circumcised."
    • Ridiculously entertaining to watch Verhoeven blow apart slice-of-life conventions (my first cackle was at the earliest dinner's "we'll wait to pop it until later") with Huppert's served cold agent of chaos, and I couldn't praise this more as a…

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  • Jaws

    Jaws

    ★★★★½

    90/100 (Third watch, was 94)
    Jaws belongs to alcohol as much as it belongs to Bruce the Shark. Alcohol appears in about half the scenes, and the central trio, Brody, Hooper, and Quint, can be aptly characterized by how they handle alcohol. Brody, the hydrophobic Everyman, pours wine into beer mugs but can't tolerate Quint's homemade shots. Hooper, the wealthy but surprisingly badass oceanographer, knows to air his wine but can still drink a shot. And Quint, the hardened shark-hunter,…

  • Don't Breathe

    Don't Breathe

    ★★

    35/100
    So lovingly crafted that I almost feel bad saying that it's scare-less emptiness. That is to say, one can feel the glee and attentiveness with which Alvarez subjects torment upon torment on his characters, just not any sort of fear or suspense out of the scenarios. This is an ineffective exercise, becoming queasily exploitive in its third act at that.
    Notes: 
    • All of you folks who are praising the long-take house-scan are the same folks who praise Wan…