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  • Crimes of Passion

    Crimes of Passion

    ★★½

    If you think you’re gonna get back in my panties, forget it. There’s one asshole in there already.

    Crimes of Passion: a decent enough title for a more generic erotic thriller, but a bad title for this movie, which is intermittently erotic, and very rarely thrilling, but never the least bit generic.

    The eros is entirely due to Kathleen Turner's presence. China Blue (as far as screenwriter Barry Sandler is concerned) is a construct, a notion of a woman who…

  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★★★½

    Watched with George.

    "A movie is not about what it is about, it is about how it is about it." All respect to Roger Ebert, and his dictum is one of the great pedagogical moments in film criticism, but it's not that simple. Yes, a movie can dazzle us by the way it goes about telling its story even if the story itself packs little punch for us personally. But there's no hard and fast dividing line between form and…

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  • Collateral

    Collateral

    ★★★★★

    Subgenres of the thriller genre:

    1. the thriller as art film, where the artist cannot stoop to actually thrilling his audience

    2. the thriller as philosophical rubbernecking, where we are invited to meditate upon the nature of evil — as severed heads roll our way

    3. the thriller as pastiche of esoteric pop-culture references

    4. the redundant thriller, either a remake of a good thriller or adaptation of a good novel, or both

    My highest praise of Collateral is that…

  • Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    ★★★★½

    Saw at Union Square, alone... yet not alone, because it's a movie that forcibly conscripts the audience into a collective experience of awe at the stunts and shenanigans and relentless escalation of suspense at every opportunity. I spent a decent portion of the movie with my hands on my head, partly poised to cover my face in dismay if necessary, partly trying to keep my skull from flying apart with the tension.

    The guy next to me was on a…