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  • The Lego Batman Movie

    The Lego Batman Movie

    ★★★★½

    Batman is a franchise built on the American struggle between individualism and group identity. When Bob Kane and Bill Finger first introduced the hero, he was a dark, obsessed, rich loner (with a gun) and a vow to take down the criminal element running rampant in Gotham City. But Batman's popularity didn't take off until Robin was brought into the picture as a colorful, plucky contrast to the brooding hero. From that point forward, depending on the writer or artist,…

  • The Love Witch

    The Love Witch

    ★★★½

    Anna Biller's THE LOVE WITCH had me immediately checking to see if Roger Corman had a production credit. From the first shot, featuring star Samantha Robinson driving a '67 Mustang in front of a rear projection, it was clear this was a love letter to the melodramatic low-budget films Corman's American-International Pictures put out in the late 60s. The production design, layered with glamorous sets, sensual costumes, and elaborate hairstyles is a real joy for fans of retro films. Biller's…

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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…

  • True Romance

    True Romance

    ★★★★

    A BONNIE & CLYDE for Generation X, Tarantino's script is a great exploration of romance as artifice and posturing. His criminal lovers, the unhinged slacker Clarence (Christian Slater) and free-spirited prostitute Alabama (Patricia Arquette), are married in a courthouse, but consummate their passion in a movie house.

    Clarence is every bit the cool, badass tough guy that Jean-Paul Belmondo was in BREATHLESS, only significantly more excited by the violence Belmondo flirted with. And where Belmondo was undone by love, Clarence is…