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  • The Wolf of Wall Street 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 29 Mar, 2014

    There's no question that some will despise The Wolf of Wall Street. I understand that reaction. We've been conditioned for the longest time to believe, in film and literature, that characters should be sympathetic and stories should find their way using a moral compass. It's what the critic James Wood once described as "a contagion of moral niceness"; an orthodoxy that demands we condemn the disgraceful, watch the wicked get their comeuppance and see the sinner redeemed by adopting virtue.…

  • All Is Lost 2013

    ★★ Watched 02 Feb, 2014

    The amount of spoken dialogue in All Is Lost could be easily compiled on a single formatted screenplay page. This in and of itself isn't a problem -- minimalist fare relying on a stripped-down narrative and a keen visual eye can be some of the most bold and memorable around -- but when a film defies authenticity for the sole intention of going against the grain, it can pull the viewer right out of the experience. Sad but true, this…

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  • 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 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…