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  • The Nice Guys

    The Nice Guys 2016

    ★★★★ Watched 11 May, 2016

    It probably says something about how far we’ve wandered into Superhero Of The Week territory that Shane Black’s 'The Nice Guys' is being positioned, by critics and analysts, as risky summer counter-programming. We’re not exactly in Béla Tarr territory here – this is a studio buddy action/comedy, with movie stars and shoot-outs and explosions and naked girls, and from a writer/director whose last credit was freaking 'Iron Man 3.' And yet it’s most decidedly an underdog, sliding into theaters between…

  • Candy

    Candy 1968

    ★★½ Watched 09 May, 2016

    Out of the panicked, late-‘60s moment in which mainstream moviemakers were losing viewers to youth-oriented efforts like 'Easy Rider' and 'The Graduate' emerged a bizarre subgenre of curio efforts like 'Skidoo,' 'Myra Breckenridge,' and this 1968 oddity (long hard to find, new on Blu from KL Studio Classics) – films that found established stars with studio backing shooting for hip and hazy, and mostly failing miserably. Christian Marquand’s adaptation of Terry Southern’s novel (scripted by Buck Henry) concerns a baby-doll…

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  • Mistress America

    Mistress America 2015

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 24 Jul, 2015

    “In one instant, her behaviors turned from charming to borderline psychotic.” So notes Tracy (Kirke) of Brooke (Gerwig), the title character of Noah Baumbach’s latest chronicle of the bohemian facades and generational navigation in New York City. Free of much of the cynicism but none of the bite of last spring’s 'While We’re Young,' Baumbach and co-writer Gerwig’s screwball treat beautifully captures the way a slightly older, seemingly together mentor-type figure can first seem to be everything you hope to…

  • Under the Skin

    Under the Skin 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 21 Mar, 2014

    A beautiful, bizarre, and occasionally troubling bit of abstract art-house sci-fi in the Beyond the Black Rainbow vein from director Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth). Scarlett Johansson (who appears in just about every frame) plays a well-disguised alien creature who picks up men and devours them; some have dismissed the picture as an indie riff on Species, but if the narrative is derivative and a tad monotonous, there’s something intoxicating about the fluidity of Glazer’s striking images and the mood he manages to sustain throughout the peculiar tale.

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