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  • Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

    ★★★½

    I went into this movie cold. No reading of any reviews in advance. Nor will this review adhere to any kind of rigor. I don't see any great value in commenting to any deep degree on a new film that is already generating voluminous comment and which would require more time to pass to allow more thoughtful and considered assessment. First reactions are inherently suspect.

    First of all, bravo to Quentin Tarantino for making a movie that got me back…

  • Death Wish 3

    Death Wish 3

    ★½

    Had no interest in this until I noticed Stuart Ashens and Oliver Harper did a recent Youtube collab commentary watch. So I synched up a "borrowed" copy and strung along. Without their play-by-play I'm not sure I could have gotten through it. This is every NRA/MAGA-head's apocalyptic wet dream, with the cops aiding and abetting vigilantism straight-up and the action quotient-level ramped up to Rambo-verse outlandish proportions. Michael Winner does this on a low budget and the sets look like…

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  • Gone with the Wind

    Gone with the Wind

    ★★★★

    Until cinephile culture began to seep into the mainstream three decades ago this was pretty much considered the greatest movie ever made if you'd have asked any random person.

    Inarguably, I think, it's the most effective screen adaptation of middle-brow literature. Self-important, with mighty musical cues that don't let you forget it. An event movie, like The Birth of a Nation, and similarly still unapologetic about romanticizing the Confederacy. It's a lot of fun, and Vivien Leigh is titanic, no doubt, but there are at least two or three dozen other movies from the feted Hollywood year of 1939 that I would rather watch.

    (-K-)

  • Won Ton Ton: the Dog Who Saved Hollywood

    Won Ton Ton: the Dog Who Saved Hollywood

    (Reviewed as part of a "joke challenge" with Letterboxd user, Trolleyfreak; prompted by discussion of the works of Michael Winner...)

    It's debatable as to when Old Hollywood decisively died, but the infamous 1970 MGM auction -- when the company decided to concentrate on Las Vegas gambling -- took a lot of the soul as well as the wind out of Tinseltown's sails. When Dorothy's ruby slippers went on the block, it was like Hollywood selling off its magic.

    Hollywood in…