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  • Silence

    Silence

    ★★½

    When I first heard, yea many years ago, that Scorsese was thinking about adapting Endo's novel, I was dubious. I've been mostly indifferent to Scorsese's body of work, and Endo's novel has always struck me as stuff that works better on the page than the screen.

    The film we finally got is not a bad one, but like many works from philosophical narratives it is somewhat inert. It didn't help that I knew what was going to happen at every…

  • Tower

    Tower

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Bumped a 1/2 star on second viewing. Really is a master marriage of form and content...with those sort of authenticating details you only get from real life. Officer Martinez saying a prayer on the elevator. "Woulda, coulda, shoulda....but I didn't." "I guess you better deputize me then."

    Perhaps the linking to Va Tech and Columbine is too on the nose, particularly for a film that is so deeply embedded in the concrete that it's emerged themes don't really need to…

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  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★★½

    "If you can't fix what's broken..."

    Fully satisfying as to theme, this is a throwback only in the sense that it reminds us of how much more thrilling stunts are than special effects. The choreography and editing is off-the-charts good...and a welcome relief to those of us weary of the uberfrenetic shot sequencing of Avengers and such.

    This is essentially one long chase scene, but backstory and theme are interspersed, and it's the rare action movie that shows rather than…

  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★½

    Like good jazz, this revealed a bit more the second time around. Its themes were richer, and the execution is pretty remarkable. (I can't remember the last time I genuinely thought montage editing was used this much and to this good effect.)

    I am, admittedly, conflicted about the epilogue. Yes, it is a showstopper and a virtuoso bit of filming. And yes, it is consistent with the jazz-like structure of the storytelling in the way it repeats with variation. But…