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  • A Hard Day's Night

    A Hard Day's Night

    ★★★

    Spine #711

    I was prepared to give A Hard Day’s Night four stars by the end of the film. But after reading reviews from Rafael Jovine, Justin Peterson, and Frank Ritz, I was brought back to earth for a moment. That’s because A Hard Day’s Night, the film, is undergirded by the album of the same name. This is a chance for Paul, John, George, and Ringo to show off their acting chops, play a few tunes, and capitalize on…

  • Red River

    Red River

    ★★★★

    Spine #709

    My respect for the western genre, and to a lesser degree, John Wayne, continues to grow. That’s because Red River is a story that paints many of its characters in a not so pleasant light. Especially Wayne, who plays Thomas Dunson. He’s an emboldened cattle rancher who decides to abandon the wagon train we see early on in the film. He has bigger plans, which include setting up shop in Texas. He has his eyes set on a…

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  • Green Book

    Green Book

    ★★

    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…

  • Do the Right Thing

    Do the Right Thing

    ★★★★

    I’ve been wanting to jot down something about this film for a minute now. And I’m pretty sure that this film's been covered from about every angle imaginable. So let me try approaching it from this angle. Let’s talk about my pity for Sal.

    When I mention a pity for Sal, I’m not referring to pity for the man himself. I’m referring to his desire to cling to whiteness, the construction of it, and the burden it places on black…