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  • Irrational Man

    Irrational Man 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 10 Jul, 2015

    A dark comedy of the conscience, Irrational Man is effectively Woody Allen's How Stella Got Her Groove Back, though -– for alcoholic and recently impotent philosophy professor Abe Lucas –- the process of groove recovery isn't quite so innocent as flying to Jamaica for a fling with a local hunk named Winston Shakespeare. For Abe, whose potbelly alone is heftier than several of Allen's recent films, reinvigorating his life might require ending someone else's.

    For some time now, it’s been…

  • The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years

    The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years 1988

    ★★★½ Watched 10 May, 2015

    Director Penelope Spheeris returns to her musical-documentary roots with another fluidly-structured doc about the fringes of youth culture. The first Decline covered the punk scene; this time around, she investigates the world of heavy metal. Filmed between August 1987 and February 1988, it mixes concert footage and surprisingly open interviews with struggling musicians, their fans, and many of the genre's successes. As they discuss fame, sex, and money, Spheeris gives a cynically humorous spin to their heavily-permed dreams of imminent…

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  • The Vanishing

    The Vanishing 1988

    ★★★★★ Watched 18 Feb, 2013 8

    Edgar Allen Poe once said that, without a traceable motive, anyone can commit murder with impunity. The Vanishing instantly made me think about this quote for quite a while. An excellent, methodical and expertly directed film that confidently refuses to be labeled as a one genre, George Suizer's cautionary tale about obsession and how far we'll go to find truth is an art house triumph. This dark, brilliant film has been much-talked about since its release in 1988, and for…

  • La Dolce Vita

    La Dolce Vita 1960

    ★★★★★ Added

    One of the true landmarks in film history (and one of my all-time favorites), La Dolce Vita is a powerful and profound film that is absolutely mesmerizing -- from the now infamous opening scene of a helicopter carrying a statue of Christ flying over Rome's ancient ruins, to the metaphorically loaded prehistoric fish washing ashore at the end. Federico Fellini's masterpiece is not only a caustic critique of modern Rome, but it's pertinent to all modern society as well. The…