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  • The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

    The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

    ★★★

    At the end of my shift today, all I wanted to do was get takeout from the Chinese restaurant across the street, go home, and watch Svengoolie's centennial tribute to Ray Harryhausen.

    Decent matinee-style viewing with luscious colors, earnestly stiff exposition, and Bernard Herrmann doing jazzy variations on the "Sabre Dance"; might finally check out the seventies-made sequels if they're online.

  • Something Wicked This Way Comes

    Something Wicked This Way Comes

    ★★★

    American Gothic

    “Where do you come from? The dust. Where do you go to? The grave.”

    A slow first hour and a disjointed climax may suggest there were too many cooks involved here (from Bradbury to Clayton to studio executives), but some of the imagery it conjures is absolutely stunning. The autumn leaves, the tarantulas, the faux beheading. The angel statues cracking in the cemetery, the parade becoming a funeral march.

    I really appreciate how somber this manages to be…

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  • Shadows

    Shadows

    ★★★

    John Cassavetes completed his directorial debut the same year that Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life - which also features a young African-American girl who "passes" - was released, but while Imitation of Life wraps this moving and compelling plotline in plush soap opera, Shadows strips it bare. Shot (illegally) on location in New York City, it resembles, as others have pointed it out, a motion picture version of Robert Frank's The Americans: unhappy lives in gritty yet luminous black and…

  • Interstellar

    Interstellar

    ★★★

    My advice: if you're going to see Interstellar - which has astounded many audiences and divided many critics - prepare to be exhausted.

    This is exhausting in its huge scope, its Hans Zimmer score, and its expository approach to both science fiction and science fact. Depending on your personality and tastes, it may also be exhausting on an emotional level. Since I had both reactions, I have no doubt that some people will be deeply moved by this film's themes…