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  • The Empire Strikes Back

    The Empire Strikes Back

    ★★★★★

    Behold, the greatest blockbuster about hubris ever made .

    The appraisal of this film in Clerks, that "it ends on such a down note" and "that's what life is, a series of down endings" inelegantly and insufficiently quantifies what is so great about The Empire Strikes Back.

    In Star Wars, Luke is the simple farm boy who dreams of adventure and finds it with the help of a mentor and supernatural assistance, also known as the hero's journey or monomyth

  • Imperium

    Imperium

    ★★★★

    "When it comes down to it, there really is only one essential ingredient to fascism: victimhood."

    It continues to stun me that no one talks about a movie where an undercover FBI agent must investigate credible terror threats from white supremacist groups in an age when the alt-right feels emboldened to publicly and shamelessly embrace prejudice.

    The cinematic landscape is rotten with superhero dreck and prestige dramas sucking all the oxygen out of the room, but here's a movie that's…

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  • The Old Man & the Gun

    The Old Man & the Gun

    ★★★

    As with its protagonist’s breezy, effortless charm, this film’s alluring concept conceals the devil-may-care vacuity throbbing at its core. -

  • The Fast and the Furious

    The Fast and the Furious

    ★★★

    A sleek, melodramatic slice of car fetishist machismo that successfully executes its threadbare genre regalia with the cast’s winsome verve. -

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  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★★★½

    There's an elegant simplicity buried beneath the subtly soulful performances, elaborately filthy cyberpunk production design, labyrinthine procedural noir mystery, and gorgeous cinematography of this pseudo-cult masterpiece.

    What does it mean to make a choice?

    KD6-3.7 was designed for a purpose: 'retire' rogue replicants. He's good at his job, sheepishly avoiding the ire of his human superiors as he carves out his niche and saves up bonuses to enhance his Joi unit, the one thing that brings him a modicum of…

  • Vertigo

    Vertigo

    ★★★★★

    I received a blu-ray Hitchcock set for Christmas I'd asked for primarily because I wished to own this film on the format. And I was once again swept away by its subtle, and not-so-subtle charms.

    The maze that is the film's entire first act is a sort of ponderous, leisurely game whose rules hypnotically obsess a man who desperately wishes to be useful and to be a good guy. All the while, the bows of Hermann's string score seem to…