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  • Friday Night Lights

    Friday Night Lights

    ★★★½

    There's a scene when Gary Gaines and his family are creepily approached by the boosters outside of a Walmart, and Gary's wife Sharon (played by Connie Britton) says, "Well that was subtle." And I just couldn't help but laugh.

    There is nothing subtle about Friday Night Lights, to the point that it functions as a straight-up melodrama. This is also seen in Peter Berg's direction, which is shot and edited so heavily to the point that it feels like a…

  • The Motorcycle Diaries

    The Motorcycle Diaries

    ★★★½

    Good road movies sometimes feel like journal entries, and this film tackles that more directly.  Sometimes that works against the film, especially in its first half, which sometimes feels too concerned the what and the where of Ernesto and Alberto’s journey rather than the why or how.  A little unfocused as times.

    But the back half is quite strong, especially the final third which mostly takes place at a San Pablo leper colony.  It’s there the film finds a focus,…

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  • Heat

    Heat

    ★★★★★

    That opening robbery is so The Dark Knight, even right down to the casting of William Fichtner.

    I had forgotten just how contemplative, how moody, how ethereal, and how intimate of a crime drama/thriller this really was, especially when compared to its counterparts. Michael Mann is way more interested in the personal and ordinary lives of these characters; the crime component is just the icing on a very thrilling cake. By doing so, the film becomes quite ambiguous in its…

  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

    ★★★★½

    “Yeah, it’s pretty good isn’t it?  I wonder if it remembers me.”

    This was probably my third time watch, and every time I have the same reaction.  Halfway through I think to myself, “Why did I ever like this insufferable, meandering, and discombobulated movie?”  Then I get to the ending (where Steve Zissou utters the above quote) and I say to myself, “Ohhh, that’s why.”

    Perhaps this is Wes Anderson’s meta way of admitting to his own assholery, who knows,…