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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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  • Widows

    Widows

    ★★★★

    What time is it? 
    It’s time for Daniel Kaluuya to get an Oscar nod for Supporting Actor. That’s what time it is. 
    A very enjoyable film.

  • Green Book

    Green Book

    ★★★★

    Kind of a different movie than we are used to from Peter Farrelly.  If anything, the comedic moments are restrained a little. 
    But this is really an actor’s movie, and both Mortensen and Ali are very likeable and believable here, as is Linda Cardellini in a supporting role. With two lesser leads the whole thing might not work nearly as well as it does. Viggo took a page from the Bale and DeNiro scripts by adding what looks like 40…

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  • 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…

  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

    Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

    ★★½

    Maybe a full three stars for diehard Potter fans. But otherwise, this film is a bit of an unfocused mess. Convoluted hardly begins to describe the plot, which brightly spins like a flashy enchanted top but barely goes anywhere; of the 135 minutes of running time it feels like we have maybe 30 that actually move the plot along. To be sure, there are some major, surprising reveals that we eventually get to, and we can guess where the next…