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  • '49-'17

    '49-'17

    ★★★★

    In an anticipation of Colonial Williamsburg and "living history," a successful, nostalgic miner commissions a troupe to populate an old mining ghost town and reenact the Gold Rush days. Then suddenly, in this hothouse environment, unresolved crimes of the past turn out to be still very raw...and using live ammunition.

  • Stan & Ollie

    Stan & Ollie

    ★★★★½

    Officially I'm over these film biopics--they're so meticulously researched and staged that the usual result is the cinematic counterpart of a tribute band. But in this case the central bromance is so compelling that I can't hate S&O.

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  • Advice to the Lovelorn

    Advice to the Lovelorn

    ★★★★½

    A barely recognizable adaptation of Nathaniel West's Miss Lonelyhearts (if Toby Prentiss got a letter from a young woman with no nose, we don't see it here). The first two acts are carried by Lee Tracy's trademark comic bravura. Then suddenly in the third act a couple of very nasty chickens come home to roost...and if you don't mind the mood whiplash it's still very funny in the end.

  • Mandy

    Mandy

    ★★★★

    All the thoughts I can remember while watching Mandy:

    1) Is this the movie that You Were Never Really Here ought to have been? Down with arty "significance," up with out-and-out genre exercises!
    2) I assume Jeremiah simultaneously recalling Jeff Spicoli's evil twin and Buffalo Bill was purely intentional?
    3) Red and Mandy's home life kept reminding me of Paterson and Laura, because of its off-kilter domesticity.
    4) A heavy metal Orpheus braves the underworld and is rewarded by being reunited with his Eurydice (the bar scene being both Red and Mandy's original meeting and their reunion in the afterlife)?