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  • What's Up, Doc?

    What's Up, Doc?

    ★★★★★

    You’re upside down, sir. 

    I know what you’re thinking. “This is one of this guy’s four favorite movies?  Really?

    Perhaps it is from a disproportionately high exposure to The Three Stooges or Looney Tunes when I was a kid. Or Gilligan’s Island, for that matter. I’m not sure exactly how it all manifested itself over time, and the runner-ups are far, far too numerous and hilarious to mention, but this movie is my single favorite comedy. 
    There has to be…

  • Defending Your Life

    Defending Your Life

    ★★★★★

    What happens when we die?  I often get rolled-back eyeballs from people when I comment that Albert Brooks’ version of the afterlife makes more sense to me personally than the garden-variety biblically-inspired versions. 

    I was trapped near the inner circle of thought. 

    But I *do* feel that way, arched eyebrows or not. There are so many universal human truths at the center of Defending Your Life that it unfolds like a universal coaching manual for humanity. 

    Fear is like a…

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  • First Man

    First Man

    ★★★★½

    Saw it a second time in Dolby Cinema. Not sure if I prefer this or IMAX; Dolby has the earth-shaking yet sharp and detailed sonic experience, and normally that would be my preference but I think I have to give the edge to IMAX for the moon sequence filmed with IMAX cameras (and using the taller aspect ratio during that segment, too).
    Things that struck me during a second viewing were Hurwitz’s magnificent score and Claire Foy’s performance. Fantastic. What a fine film.

  • Powers of Ten

    Powers of Ten

    ★★★★★

    A short, brilliant encapsulation of the immense and small distances in our universe. Spoiler alert: when you get to either end of the spectrum, it’s mostly empty space. Made by a couple of Design geniuses, Ray and Charles Eames. 
    Worth a rewatch on a day when a major media outlet hands a microphone to a bunch of delusional flat-earthers.
    Watch it here:
    youtu.be/0fKBhvDjuy0

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  • First Man

    First Man

    ★★★★½

    I can’t think of a better word to describe First Man than intimate. I’m a space geek and hold movies like Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff high on my list of personal favorites, but if you are hoping for more of the same from Damien Chazelle’s new (amazingly, just his third) movie, you might be disappointed.  Sure, the movie ticks off the things we expect: countdowns, peril, tragedy, grace under pressure, even the archival Cronkite TV footage. In most…

  • Avengers: Infinity War

    Avengers: Infinity War

    ★★★★½

    I’ll write a spoiler review later, but for now... this is a really fun film. Big ensemble events like this can be hard to pull off; there’s pressure to create an opportunity for each individual character to shine a bit. But Joe & Anthony Russo succeed both in making a film with lots of great standalone action and rewarding the die-hards with plenty of references to earlier Marvel outings. It’s kind of like listening to a greatest hits album from your…