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  • How Green Was My Valley

    How Green Was My Valley

    ★★★★½

    [PRO/A-]
    What follows is something I wrote for the Music in Film course I'm taking, with the more formulaic and extraneously academic bits cut out. The subject of the class dictates my specific focus on Newman's score here obviously, but I think I'm still able to get at a lot of what makes the movie a landmark work.

    //

    “Singing is in my people as sight is in the eye” intones the older self of the child protagonist, Huw (his…

  • Top Hat

    Top Hat

    ★★★½

    [pro/B/B-]
    "Honey, when you're as old as I am, you take your men as you find them...if you can find them." —Helen Broderick as Madge, secret MVP.

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  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★½

    [CON/D]
    An ugly-in-spirit, clumsily styled (ed. the swivel reaction pans to Teller's face are atrocious) faux Social Network. Upsettingly celebrates antagonism and verbal violence as reported. J.K. Simmons's performance is terrible and Teller is too smothered by Damien Chazelle's pop psychologizing to be able to make an impression.
    [Tweet] [II]

    Chazelle's amateurish world is so limited in its artificial scope, beginning and ending within the unexplored confines of his pat human experience ambitions; he is prone to arrive at an…

  • Birdman

    Birdman

    ★★

    [con/C-]
    It's not as if some comedy was the last thing Iñárritu's work needed—I disliked Birdman a good bit less than I thought I would.
    [Tweet]

    I liked it better when it was called Venus in Fur (and even then I didn't like it that much, but Polanski’s film's similarities and divergence from Iñárritu's work are instructive). Pretty middling on it overall, and though it exceeded my expectations, its thinness becomes glaring in hindsight. The tone and performances annoyed me…