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  • The Trouble with Girls

    The Trouble with Girls

    ★★★★

    The plot is an incomprehensible mash-up of The Music Man, Meet Me in St. Louis, and murder mystery, but the direction is really flavoursome and idiosyncratic, some of the jokes are enticingly strange, and Elvis is energized by a glorified supporting role that has him chomping on a cigar lots and singing rarely. Unusually good late-period Elvis that's all the more dazzling in HD.

  • Gladiator

    Gladiator

    ★★★★

    "Ridley Scott's Gladiator is good now. I suppose it was always good, if money and Oscars are indicators of quality, but for me, it was a late bloomer whose virtues have seemingly become more visible since the tide of its success receded. I remember Roger Ebert's review of the film, which he called "Rocky on downers," as one I felt a kinship with. In print and on television, he was especially dismayed by the "shabby" computer-generated Colosseum. The year before,…

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  • Star Trek Into Darkness

    Star Trek Into Darkness

    ½

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

    I hate this movie for all its cutesy quoting of Wrath of Khan while trying and spectacularly failing to sublet its gravitas. I hate it for casting the whitest actor on Earth as a man named Khan Noonien Singh. I hate it for the way that every shot in the back half is a three-ring circus of lens flares, cluttered sets, and CGI embellishments. I hate it for turning Spock into Sheldon from "The Big Bang Theory". I hate it…

  • Sophie's Choice

    Sophie's Choice

    ★½

    Sophie's Choice made me feel unclean, because it's the story of a Polish immigrant purging her most shameful secret, framed as the story of a Southern doofus losing his virginity to the same woman, a victim of the concentration camps. La Meryl's good, shrug; it's a very Garbo performance, if Garbo were a perfect acting machine. Much was made of William Styron's agenda in writing the source novel, i.e., to show that it wasn't just card-carrying Jews who suffered during…