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  • MGM: When the Lion Roars 1992

    ★★★★ Watched 25 Oct, 2014

    Part One: The Lion Roars | Part Two: The Lion Reigns Supreme

    Part Three: The Lion in Winter

    I was underwhelmed by the middle section of this three-part, six-hour documentary in large part because of its lack of thematic focus and emphasis on film clips over narrative context and information. There's a lot of ground to cover in the finale, and this episode is all the stronger for it. Discussed are the self-destruction of Judy Garland, Esther Williams's swimming pictures,…

  • MGM: When the Lion Roars 1992

    ★★ Rewatched 23 Oct, 2014

    The Lion Reigns Supreme

    Whereas the first part, "The Lion's Roar" covered the founding of the studio through the death of Irving Thalberg, the middle section of this three-part doc spans from the immediate aftermath of Thalberg's passing through the end of World War II. "The Lion Reigns Supreme" lacks any singular figure or focus comparable to Thalberg. Instead, the breakneck parade of stars' careers through film and interview clips ushers us through the years.

    This episode's lack of focus…

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  • Sicko 2007

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 12 Nov, 2013 3

    Sicko came out in a particularly upsetting time in my life. I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2005. Two years later, my health was so unreliable that it was a major reason my family chose to close the doors on the business we'd owned and operated for twenty years. No single topic has dominated my daily life these last eight years more than the vulnerability of the sick and injured in America. Not even Batman.

    Michael Moore is still…

  • The Sting 1973

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 14 Nov, 2012 2

    The Sting is one of the rarest sorts of films: It's laden with plot twists and surprises, but knowing the payoffs doesn't detract from the joy of repeat viewings. Generally, stories with "Aha!" moments are thrilling the first time through but don't hold up to a second viewing. Not so with the 1973 Best Picture.

    I've seen The Sting several times over the years, most recently 7 March 2010 on DVD. I've loved it since I first saw it on…