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  • The Founder

    The Founder

    ★★★½

    How Ray Kroc, a struggling salesman, took over the fast food concept from a duo of ingenious brothers and grew it into the McDonald's empire, eventually buying both of them out. Thematically similar to Hancock's previous "Saving Mr. Banks" (also centered on a talented but ruthless businessman who has its way with someone else's original concept and makes it a runaway success) a biopic that focuses on the dark side of the true drive to succeed. Keaton's manic performance make his protagonist a seductive shark that you can fear while rooting for his success.

  • Shampoo

    Shampoo

    ★★½

    With Nixon just minutes away from seizing his Presidency, a womanizing male hairdresser dreams to set up his own beauty salon. Although he's overage for his character, Beatty convincingly portrays a young man who still resists taking responsibility until it's too late. Worth watching as a satirical time-capsule but not as biting or involving as it should. Great supporting cast includes Christie and a memorable Jack Warden.

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  • Hard to Be a God

    Hard to Be a God

    ★★★★½

    Hardly fathomable adaptation of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's philosophical Sci-Fi novel lures viewers into a watching tour de force of constant, ever-changing, chaos in motion. A 3-hours, black and white exploration of decay taking place in a muddy, rainy, alien medieval planet where characters wander aimlessly, expel body fluids, and invariably get interrupted even in the most menial tasks. An extraordinary, irritatingly challenging, film experience that requires some radical film-watching commitment in order to be enjoyed.

    Previously filmed by Peter Fleischmann in 1990: letterboxd.com/albertofarina/film/es-ist-nicht-leicht-ein-gott-zu-sein/

  • Don't Be Bad

    Don't Be Bad

    ★★★★

    It's a bumpy road out of hell for Cesare and Vittorio, two young hustlers and drug addicts who try going straight before it's too late. Caligari's third (and, sadly, final) film wraps it up after "Amore tossico" and "L'odore della notte" and once again casts a nonjudgmental, genuinely understanding eye on criminal lives in the hinterland of Rome. "Non essere cattivo" ("don't be bad", as read on a stolen teddy bear's bib) is a gangster movie that needs no villain nor genre-related clutter, a larger-than-life tale that's as credible and painful as life itself.