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  • Raising Cain

    Raising Cain

    ★★★

    Part of Hoop-Tober 2017

    “I know what you’re going to do! It’s a bad thing and I’m gonna tell!”

    **NOTE: Because discussing its structure is necessary to any discussion of Raising Cain, spoilers inevitably follow.**

    The source of an idiom is not always clear from the idiom itself. For example, the phrase “the skin of my teeth” comes from the Book of Job, but this is not evident from the content of the phrase—no one using the saying is likely…

  • Baby Driver

    Baby Driver

    ★★★★

    “You in?” “I’m in, Baby.”

    For the pop culture obsessive, every thought, every conversation, every interaction is freighted with meaning. The music, books, films, and television we love become the prism through which we view the universe. A group of umbrellas on a rainy day brings to mind a hapless brigade of nannies in Mary Poppins or a gifted assassin’s divertissement in Foreign Correspondent or a lovelorn Catherine Deneuve in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. A bus ride recalls the ambiguous…

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  • Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler

    ★★★★

    “On TV it looks so real.”

    The chonmage was a traditional Japanese male hairstyle, usually associated with the samurai of the Edo period. Consisting of long hair oiled and tied into a topknot (commonly with the top of the head shaved), it is the formal name of what might colloquially be called the “samurai bun.” While it began as a practical device—the knot was used to hold the samurai’s helmet in place—it eventually became a status symbol in Japanese culture,…

  • Se7en

    Se7en

    ★★★★½

    Part of Hoop-Tober

    “Anyone who spends a significant amount of time with me finds me disagreeable.”

    Gluttony

    He has taken on too much. Det. David Mills (Brad Pitt), deliberately uprooting his wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow), from upstate and dragging her to this lurid hellhole, all out of a naïve desire to save the world. So much ambition, he nearly chokes on it. So much chatter, he sucks all the air from the room.

    Det. William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) long ago…