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  • Medium Cool

    Medium Cool

    ★★★★

    Adding a review of this film, on the occasion of Robert Forster's death.

    This film is a wonder, released only a few months after the real-life events that it depicts, around the 1968 Democratic Party convention. Forster plays a TV news cameraman who is detached from whatever he captures on film, and we see him working with nasty car crashes with no emotion. But like so many others in the mushy middle in 1968, he can't resist the pull to…

  • Space Cowboys

    Space Cowboys

    ★★★

    I watched this again after seeing Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland in Ad Astra. This film pales in comparison, in every way, to Apollo 13, which came out 5 years earlier. It looks cheaper, with castoff NASA props, unsubtle acting, cliched dialogue, and less than state-of-the-art special effects. It also features Loren Dean, who had better days as one of Gene Krantz;s crew. Actually, now that I look, he was in Ad Astra too. Weird.
    Anyway, the entire reason…

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  • Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    ★★★★½

    This was an almost perfect film for me. Very close.
    This film is about astronauts, and other regular future space-faring folks, who have profound alienation. Which is ironic, because one of the lead characters is looking for aliens. What he discovers is that the farther people get from Earth, the less they seem to connect with each other, and feel acute loneliness as a result.
    This is set in the "near future" when there are permanent settlements on the Moon…

  • Blinded by the Light

    Blinded by the Light

    ★★★½

    This movie was a lot of fun, but I can't be more enthusiastic than that, since it really lacked any polish. Beckham and Bride & Prejudice were edited and directed with perfect comic and dramatic timing, and sometimes this one feels like we're watching a bunch of first takes, scenes that were not entirely thought through when they were filmed. It's entirely possible that this was a choice that Gurinder Chadha shot intentionally rough around the edges. Because that might better…