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  • Godzilla

    Godzilla

    ★★★

    Ishiro Honda's Godzilla, a film that uses the legendary monster as a stand-in for the fears and trepidation that still lingered after the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, feels so far removed from the versions that grace our screen today. While it felt normal to see a monster on screen that rages and destroys everything in its path (that's pretty much all we're fed at the multiplex's today), it's quite unusual to see films within this genre that carry…

  • Ma

    Ma

    ★★★

    The talents of Octavia Spencer, of which there are many, have been criminally underutilized for quite some time, even though she has received her fair share of accolades over the past few years, including several awards for her performance in 2011's The Help. This was a film that was well received by the general public; i enjoyed it as well. But it's continued promotion of the mammy character that Hollywood has relied on for so long as a way of…

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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…