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  • Kansas City

    Kansas City


    Altman directed this when he was seriously ill, right before his heart transplant, I believe. Set in his hometown, he nonetheless proved again that he didn't do nostalgia. In some ways, KC is a lite version of RAGTIME, at the intersection of crime, music, and politics. Altman has been here before, but he knows the milieu well.

  • Born to Be Blue

    Born to Be Blue


    Suffers inevitably from Walk Hard Syndrome: Even though Chet Baker was a junkie, presumably had an estranged father, etc., it's hard not to filter these real-life issues through the indelible satire of "Wrong keed died" and other send-ups in that movie of music biopic cliches. BORN TO BE BLUE is elevated by Ethan Hawke's performance. Overshadowed by the McConnaisance, Hawke, in middle-age, has become a substantial actor. He plays Baker as an ingratiating, soft-spoken fuck-up, whose honesty about drug addiction leaves the movie with a peculiar tang. He's marvelous.

Popular reviews

  • Paris, Texas

    Paris, Texas


    An America already nearly forgotten. Gas stations. Hotel rooms. Pay phones. Vast desert vistas and even vaster internal terrain. Harry Dean Stanton's iconic wanderer. Dean Stockwell's fundamental decency. Temporary urban tranquility. A brothel that tends to loneliness and pain. Kindness and forgiveness transcending selfishness and jealousy. Nastassja Kinski bares her soul. A movie that takes you someplace. Lightning in a bottle. A masterpiece.

  • It Follows

    It Follows


    Crafted with undeniable verve, yet still a little silly. While I'm glad Mitchell doesn't belabor his tale with explanation or exposition, I must confess I started thinking of questions about the "rules" like the wiseacres in GREMLINS 2: Can "It" follow you to Europe, if you tried to escape there? Would "It" fly overseas in pursuit? First class or coach? This probably indicates a lack of investment on my part (or Mitchell's?) in the characters: namely Greta Gerwig-girl, our understandably…