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  • Oliver Twist

    Oliver Twist 1948

    ★★★ Watched 22 Aug, 2015

    This is an extremely straightforward adaptation of the story with pretty good acting and scripting, but where it really stands out is the cinematography. The movie looks gorgeous, playing with shadow and light and composition in a way that really brings out both the beauty and the darkness of the world. Unfortunately, the one person's acting that stood out to me is Kay Walsh's, which I didn't like much -- she plays Nancy as an uncomfortably shrill character, and her…

  • What We Do in the Shadows

    What We Do in the Shadows 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Aug, 2015

    Mockumentaries are pretty tough to do well, but this is one of the most creative ones I've seen, playing beautifully on the conventions of the genre. The characters are interesting to watch, the dialogue is funny, and the movie as a whole does new and different things in both the mockumentary AND the vampire film genres. There's very little wasted time in this comedy -- every scene is funny -- and I anticipate will just keep getting better with each…

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  • Inside Llewyn Davis

    Inside Llewyn Davis 2013

    ★★★ Watched 05 Apr, 2014 3

    Like so many movies by the Coens, I'm not exactly sure what to make of this. I like individual moments, but I'm not certain I can say it hangs together as a whole. My least favorite thing about the Coens has always been their ending choices, which frequently feel like they just abruptly stopped making the movie, rather than actually *ending* their story. That is definitely the case here, and I am once again left unsatisfied and a little puzzled…

  • Guardians of the Galaxy

    Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 09 Aug, 2014

    At this point, this is my favorite Marvel superhero movie (I had to think for a bit about whether I liked it better than Iron Man, but I'm going to go with yes). It's what I wanted The Avengers to be: a light-hearted adventure with delightful characters and some surprisingly moving emotional moments. And I knew pretty early on I was going to love it. Specifically, the moment where Chris Pratt dances through the alien cave. The humor running throughout…