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  • A Star Is Born

    A Star Is Born

    ★★★★

    An effective emotional roller coaster with a potent soundtrack (props to my fave, Jason Isbell, for the beautiful “Maybe It’s Time”), two legitimately great movie moments, and an honest performance from Lady Gaga. Cooper is a really competent director, never distracting from the story he’s telling, which is a real compliment. I like his approach to the ending, which straight up steals from the 1976 film, but adds one extra element that plays like gangbusters. 


    A STAR IS BORN is…

  • Bad Times at the El Royale

    Bad Times at the El Royale

    ★★★½

    For a movie almost 2 and a half hours, how could Goddard have left such a huge dangling plot thread? The cast, however, is wonderful, especially Cynthia Ervino as Darlene. She is a star. This felt like a less nihilistic HATEFUL 8, which was welcome when you consider how dealing with the daily news is pretty much an exercise in nihilism.

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  • Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler

    ★★★★★

    There’s a long tradition of movies about television broadcasting. The two most successful are Sidney Lumet’s NETWORK and James L. Brooks’ BROADCAST NEWS. Both satirize telejournalism with a keen eye, revealing the shady behavior beneath the public image of integrity. Those films were made in the 70s and 80s, respectively. Since, the cynical attitude towards American journalism has only grown. We all know networks are in it for the ratings. We know getting us “truth” in journalism is not as…

  • A Shot in the Dark

    A Shot in the Dark

    ★★★★

    It's hard for me to judge A SHOT IN THE DARK based on its own merits, as I usually do, because I watched it on the request of my son, Tommy. Tommy is almost 14, and has autism. For the last few years he has been obsessed with film composers. He can recite the IMDb filmographies of most with savant-like precision, and often corrects me. His current favorite is Henry Mancini, and he asked me to sit down and watch…