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  • Gone Baby Gone

    Gone Baby Gone 2007

    ★★½ Watched 10 Apr, 2015

    Ben Affleck's competent direction does nothing to raise his material above the level a typical episode of CSI. The structure heightens that feeling, almost seeming like a two-part episode of television, with an awkward voiceover suturing the halves together. However, the content in the back end is much more compelling on a thematic level, even if it lacks the energy of the more straightforward procedural that unfolds in the first half. There's a casual realism to Affleck's approach that is…

  • Masked and Anonymous

    Masked and Anonymous 2003

    ★★★★ Watched 07 Apr, 2015

    It's difficult to know what to make of Masked and Anonymous, which feels like some kind of collision between Robert Altman and Jim Jarmusch. The film is both rigid and free-wheeling in its construction, setting up a familiar premise before foregoing almost any kind of narrative or character development. Characters aren't presented in terms of cohesive arcs, with an improvisatory atmosphere dominating most of the performances. It runs out of steam before the end, and the conclusions it draws seem…

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  • Before Sunset

    Before Sunset 2004

    ★★★★ Watched 09 Jun, 2013 2

    The only sequel I've ever seen that not only betters the original, but also makes the original better in retrospect. Linklater brings his usual excellent sense of time and place to Before Sunset, and the second encounter between Celine and Jesse is even more poignant than the first.

    Hawke is just as excellent here as he is in the first: he's fantastic with the dialogue, but my favourite moment of his performance is on the boat, with Hawke watching Delpy…

  • The Shining

    The Shining 1980

    ★★★★ Rewatched 18 May, 2013 3

    There's been enough commentary on The Shining that nobody needs to hear my thoughts. So I'll just say that Duvall is absolutely brilliant in it, despite her reputation, and leave it at that. (A-)