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  • Lucky

    Lucky

    ★★★★

    Lucky is a film we're lucky to have. Harry Dean Stanton gives his final lead performances like he's providing the world with his personal philosophical statement, culminating a long career's worth of pathos.

    John Caroll Lynch assists Stanton well with a strong photographic film, putting Stanton in colorful and diverse frames signifying the impact that Lucky has on the lives of those around him. He's the guy you tell stories to, and about. He's everyone, but incredibly specific. He's grumpy but kind. He's no cliche yet the entire world.

    I'm going to miss him.

  • Before Night Falls

    Before Night Falls

    ★★★½

    This is a good biopic about Reinaldo Arenas--the famed gay Cuban poet of the 20th century. Javier Bardem is so committed as the poet himself, showcasing a complicated character with ease, immersing himself into this person well enough to mostly forget Javier Bardem is the actor. Bardem is not a hard-to-identify actor, either.

    The film is fractured, and often times appropriately poetic. At its weakest, it distracts, mostly thanks to cameo's by famous actors. I would say the dual roles by Johnny Depp, which are weird, work demonstrably better than Sean Penn's.

    It's a film worth seeing for sure.

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  • Close-Up

    Close-Up

    ★★★★★

    #90sMarathon

    There isn't much more for me to say about this film-- most of it has already been said and better than I could. It's such a beautiful look at the roles we play in our day to day, and the collision between art and "reality", whatever that is. This docudrama is one of the great Iranian films, one of the great 90s films, no. It's one of the great films.

    Here is what I wrote about it for Abandoned…

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Arrival is a science fiction film about how the journey is more important than the destination. Really Arrival is about both--the journey and the destination, hence its title.

    But it's a tricky title, because it also seems to imply the arrival of the aliens to our world. It's a time old tale, but this film has a unique spin. Denis Villeneuve and his team give this film the sense of craft and gravitas he offered Sicario last year--great cinematography, sound…