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  • The Child 2005

    ★★★★½ Added

    Frantic music, erratic editing, special effects, frequent shifts in perspective, beautified actors — we’ve become accustomed to so many “enhancements” in our entertainment that it’s hard to tell anymore if there’s a quality story within the sound and fury. But the Dardennes’ art is so concentrated, it doesn’t need artificial enhancement. And their commitment to providing the equivalent of actual human experience has a curious effect: it makes the story much more genuinely suspenseful.

    Thus, when the film suddenly explodes…

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014

    ★★★★ Rewatched 21 Jul, 2014

    Second viewing, it feels both more frivolous and more fun.

    I love that Anderson seems as excited about Mendl's Courtesan au Chocolat as he is about everything else in this wacky wonderland. And Ralph Fiennes is one magnificent meatball... but too many unnecessary celebrity cameos weaken the sauce in which he marinates. I know, I know — everything about this extravagant confection is deliberately excessive, like frosting and food coloring on... well... a confection. But I might have cared a…

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  • 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…

  • Life Itself 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Jul, 2014

    "Drama holds a mirror up to life, but needn't reproduce it."

    Roger, Roger, Roger. Here I am watching a film about your departure, and I'm still jotting down things you said that will be worth quoting in my own film reviews.

    There is a lot to love in this film. I was particularly moved by Scorsese's testimony, and the testimonies of other filmmakers, regarding what it meant for someone to come along and really pay attention to what they had…