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  • 1917

    1917

    ★★★★

    In my review for Jarhead, Sam Mendes’ 2005 feature about one soldiers experience during Operation Desert Storm, I ended the review by making a point that if the battle-starved soldiers of the STA Platoon actually received a taste of the war that they so eagerly craved, they’d be less enthusiastic about going into battle. Being eager for battle vs. being prepared to go into battle are two different things in my view, and the distinction must be pointed out. Watching…

  • Jarhead

    Jarhead

    ★★★½

    There is a something off about the battles that are waged in Jarhead, Sam Mendes’ 2005 feature about the experiences of former marine and Operation Desert Storm veteran Anthony Swofford. In the film, which is based on Swofford’s 2003 memoir of the same name, there’s a war going on around the marine and his platoon, and they want to be a part of it. But war never seems to find them. Primed for combat yet situated in an environment that…

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  • Green Book

    Green Book

    ★★½

    Who is this film for? And what is it looking to accomplish? 

    These are the two questions that have been swirling around in my mind almost a week later after watching Green Book, Peter Farrelly's racial road movie about the classically trained pianist Don Shirley, Tony "Lip" Vallenlonga, and their 1960's journey through the deep south. I know the answer to both questions, but I don't think Peter knows and I don't think that co-writer Nick Vallenlonga knows either. But…

  • If Beale Street Could Talk

    If Beale Street Could Talk

    ★★★★

    In preparation for seeing Barry Jenkins adaptation of James Baldwin's 1974 novel I've been reading and watching various James Baldwin interviews over the past few days and I stumbled upon the following quote, which comes from an interview that he gave to The Guardian in 1974. “Every poet is an optimist, Baldwin says. But "you have to reach a certain level of despair to deal with your life at all.” This optimism and despair is on full display within the…