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  • The Hateful Eight

    The Hateful Eight 2015

    ★½ Watched 29 Apr, 2016

    I had really hoped that Tarantino's gifts would lead him into increasingly meaningful storytelling. I hoped his childish obsession with violence would pass. I hoped his capacity for sculpting beautiful harmonies of image and sound, and the obvious joy he takes in directing actors toward their best work, would eventually lead him to explore other possibilities as a storyteller than revenge stories, and direct him toward more intriguing ideas.

    The opposite seems to be happening. The joy is fading from…

  • April and the Extraordinary World

    April and the Extraordinary World 2015

    ★★★ Watched 22 Apr, 2016

    As a celebration of Tardi, this is an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink extravaganza. As a narrative, it's less than compelling due to its frenetic pace and busy-ness. The constant shoot-outs, chases, explosions, Transformer-like shape-shifting of vehicles and buildings — all of this makes things too clamorous, and I never quite get attached to the characters (with the exception of Darwin the Cat, who is a one-of-a-kind animated character from his whiskers right down to his cartoon testicles). Despite all of the extraordinarily elaborate…

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  • Selma

    Selma 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 07 Jan, 2015 5

    Thank God Almighty.

    Director Ava Duvernay had a monumental task before her, making a high-profile motion picture focused on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, with a cast of famous names. What’s more, the closer the film has come to release, the more the headlines have shown us just how much we need a Great Film about Dr. King’s vision.

    Even great directors would probably have disappointed us. Think of Spielberg’s Lincoln: Hey, I loved it, but I acknowledge that it…

  • The World's End

    The World's End 2013

    ★★★★ Rewatched 29 Aug, 2013 1

    I'm not the first person to say it, but it's true — this film, like the two before it, is designed to be seen a second time, when viewers will realize just how every fleeting moment either foretells upcoming events, sets up elaborate jokes, or reveals a punchline for a joke yet to be told. It's the fastest-moving, most confidently scripted and edited film I've seen this year. And the action scenes are dizzyingly joyous. When was the last time…