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  • Shadows

    Shadows

    ★★★★

    By the end of the 50s, there was a growing audience for films that broke away from the artificiality of the typical Hollywood Dream Machine product and the formulaic television shows that were sucking away theatrical attendance. Waves of filmmakers all over the world responded to new possibilities for on-screen realism opened up by the Italian neorealists and for personal, auteurist visions exemplified by Ingmar Bergman. Poles were exploring post-war identity in stylized ways, Brits were addressing working class dis-empowerment…

  • Day of the Outlaw

    Day of the Outlaw

    ★★★★

    Solid Western has a fairly standard cattlemen vs. farmers storyline which gets interrupted by a bunch of home invasion tropes which turn it into a suspenseful genre mashup that was likely an inspiration for Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, especially considering it's a snow storm that's caused these outlaws to hold the town hostage. Burl Ives gets the most interesting role as the wounded former army captain whose authority and concern for the welfare of his men is the only thing…

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  • The Seventh Seal

    The Seventh Seal

    ★★★★★

    Greatest artistic achievement in the history of cinema? Yeah, probably. Greatest artistic achievement in my nine years of being a father? Punishing my button-pushing son by giving him the option of watching The Seventh Seal or nothing for his screen time tonight. I'm proud of him for sticking with it 'til the end and even though he said he hated it, he could still tell me what meaningful deed the knight accomplished by playing chess with Death, so I know…

  • War for the Planet of the Apes

    War for the Planet of the Apes

    ★½

    I don't watch many movies this deeply stupid anymore, but this one makes me extra angry because nobody ever raved about how "intelligent" Jurassic World or The Hunger Games were.