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  • Chungking Express

    Chungking Express

    ★★★★★

    Watched the Hong Kong-themed episode of Parts Unknown last night and promised myself I was going to revisit Chungking Express ASAP. Woke up to the same terrible news as everyone else re:Anthony Bourdain, which only made me more determined. (I had the Criterion Blu-ray on my shelf, but you can also watch it on the Criterion Channel if you have Filmstruck.) Still one of my favorite movies ever; the fact that its characters are mostly a little off in terms…

  • Disobedience

    Disobedience

    ★★★

    Traditions of faith, love and family are all on the table in Disobedience, in which New Yorker Ronnie Curtis, née Ronit Khruska (Rachel Weisz), returns after many years to her native London and an orthodox Jewish community that, frankly, doesn’t want her. The occasion is the passing of her father, an influential leader and Talmudic scholar — the Rav of the community — who drops dead, portentously, at the beginning of the film after delivering a tract on human beings…

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  • Neighbors

    Neighbors

    ★★★

    At 44, I sometimes feel like I've been growing up for decades while popular culture has been standing still. Radio stations I hear in grocery stores and coffee shops play the same songs that were popular when I was in high school. The comic books and fantasy novels that I read in the 1970s and 1980s (or their derivatives) have become the blockbuster TV and film franchises of the 2010s. Saturday Night Live has been on the air, in sickness…

  • Side Effects

    Side Effects

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Soderbergh is as Soderbergh does, and his putative farewell performance at the helm of a studio feature film is the usual tasteful Soderbergh fare, finely directed, with a slightly jazzy achronology to it and its almost pastel color schemes smelling lightly of perfume. For all that, the Manhattan doctor-and-patient tale that unspools here feels overly familiar, but Side Effects makes a case for its existence early on by slyly painting itself as a satire on pharmacological culture. Emily (Rooney Mara),…