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  • The LEGO Movie 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 21 Feb, 2014

    I had heard that this was better than you’d think, but it was still so wildly beyond my expectations. (Contender for my favorite animated movie? Dare I say it?) The story is pretty straightforward, but they build in a lot of good meta-movie/genre tropes and the sense of humor was right up my alley (both the wit and the dumb gags). And it’s gorgeous. The verrrrry very end doesn’t quite work for me, but geez. What a treat.

  • Mud 2012

    ★★★★★ Watched 11 Nov, 2013

    Best summarized in this review I stumbled upon where I lifted the still above: “Mud reminds us that the most special effect is compelling characters caught in a vexing situation.” (www.patheos.com/blogs/dochollywood/2013/05/mud-mcconaughey-on-the-mississippi-is-an-instant-classic/) Check and check. I loved this movie. Jeff Nichols is on a roll right now, after directing Shotgun Stories, and then Take Shelter, and then this. I’m excited for whatever is next.

  • In a World... 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 18 Sep, 2013

    Loved it. The power of voice! And such a great a set of characters. No one is perfect; no one is irredeemable. I couldn’t help but think of Frances Ha, but this one, like its protagonist, is far more polished. A really fine piece of work.

  • No Country for Old Men 2007

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 10 Aug, 2013

    Still one of the best I’ve ever seen. I love this movie.

  • Days of Heaven 1978

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 04 May, 2013

    Third viewing. I don’t typically use words like “rapturous” or “transfixed”, but I feel like I need to here. I just sit there slack-jawed for 90 minutes. I don’t know how you can make a biblical, romantic prairie drama have such momentum. This is the first Terrence Malick movie I ever saw, and I still think it’s his best. I have to keep it in my top three, up there with Out of the Past and Heat.

  • Out of the Past 1947

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 31 Mar, 2013

    OUT OF THE PAST! Virginia Huston has a small role, lines-wise, but it’s our identification with her that’s the heart, the emotional pivot for the whole thing. Sigh. Why can’t we be better?

  • Holy Motors 2012

    ★★★★★ Watched 24 Jan, 2013

    Incredible. Amazing, amazing performance from Denis Lavant. There’s no traditional plot, but the structure involves Lavant’s character being driven around Paris in a limousine to a series of appointments, each one requiring a different costume, makeup, identity, and performance. The logic is bent and ambiguous. A couple hours of mad and weird invention, wholly invigorating.

  • Heat 1995

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 12 Dec, 2012

    My third viewing. This is officially my second favorite movie after Out of the Past.

    It seems like (Pacino’s) Hanna has more fun than (De Niro’s) McCauley does. Maybe I’m projecting, and he’s just more fun to watch because he’s more exasperated and has the power to say whatever he wants. He definitely smiles more. His stakes are lower in a way. He’s got a day job, a sense of purpose, even if home life is a wreck. Note the…

  • Heat 1995

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 24 Nov, 2012 3

    Pacino > De Niro.

  • Lawrence of Arabia 1962

    ★★★★★ Watched 04 Oct, 2012

    Ridiculously spectacular, most especially the visuals and the acting. Lots of good laugh lines, too. I’m very grateful I got to see this on a big theater screen. I didn’t realize the new 4K restoration was showing in Atlanta until a few hours beforehand. Totally lucked out. What a great experience.

    Also, David Lean? This, Doctor Zhivago, and Brief Encounter? There’s a resume for you. I need see some more of his work.

  • Winter's Bone 2010

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 05 Sep, 2012

    Such a damn good movie. Every bit as good as the first time. It has the perfect balance between feeding you information and leaving you in the dark. Who knows what to do next? And I love the little moments of life in the Ozarks: splitting firewood, hunting, neighbors looking after each other, cooking. Between this and Martha Marcy May Marlene, I’ve got to find some more stuff with John Hawkes.

  • Days of Heaven 1978

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 03 Sep, 2012

    Re-watched. Re-loved. Still near the top of my all-time list.