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  • Meet Joe Black

    Meet Joe Black

    ★★½

    Quite possibly the "first-draft-iest" movie I've ever seen, if there were such a superlative, "Meet Joe Black" has some terrific ideas in it, but it's all nearly done away with in favor of flowery dialogue, non-essential narrative excess and a muddling of character.

    This is an odd movie for me to talk about, as I've always found its concept fascinating. I've also been clinically unable to unearth it from the old, never-ending backlog of movies I have to see. Until…

  • Parenthood

    Parenthood

    ★★★★

    You won't have to look far into the deepest recesses of the cineaste crowd to found someone with a "hot take" on Ron Howard. Many find his films plain, lacking in thematic depth and sometimes just downright inferior in quality. With a movie like "Parenthood," however, you're reminded of just how many good ones there really were for the filmmaker, especially in the late eighties and early-to-mid nineties. This is an -- at times -- masterful exercise in ensemble storytelling,…

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  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    ★★★★★

    Amidst this year of unnecessary remakes, bloated sequels, and pathetic attempts at establishing IP, in comes Quentin Tarantino with a movie so wacky, so audacious, and so out there that you honestly can't help but smile when the credits finally roll. Yes, it's based on true events, but don't be fooled. This is a movie with a whole lot more going on with it than simply retelling certain historical moments. More deliberately paced than most Tarantino flicks, "Once Upon A…

  • 1917

    1917

    ★★★★★

    It is a rare, rare thing for me to feel as though I need to unsheathe the "M-word" from my vocabulary after seeing a movie. Though, with Sam Mendes's "1917" freshly in mind, I find the experience impossible to describe without dropping it at least once. I don't think I've seen a filmic narrative since "The Revenant" that's more adequately aligned itself with the term "journey" than this one has. It is a wild, traumatic, and relentlessly thrilling, near-real-time chronicling…