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  • BlacKkKlansman

    BlacKkKlansman

    ★★★★½

    Spike has always been a messy, patchy filmmaker, but he is also one of our best. He directs from his id, providing the world directed, stylized rage with which to siphon the general anger already in the world. BlacKkKlansman is no different--a film that is part buddy cop movie, part blaxploitation, part agitprop from Spike's beloved Battle of Algiers, part documentary of the times. This is not a period piece or biopic; this is a film about 2017-2018--a film about…

  • Girl with a Pearl Earring

    Girl with a Pearl Earring

    ★★

    A dull “how the painting was made” film that is admittedly pretty, but lacking any real sense of drama.

    Firth is miscast, side characters feel like they have entire plot lines cut, and Johansson’s blank expressions work better in other film. She’s always had this otherworldly demeanor, which is why I usually prefer her in something like Under the Skin.

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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…

  • Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    ★★★★½

    More please.

    Christopher McQuarrie's second installment is the greatest Mission: Impossible film yet, with the best combination of parts that add up to a big whole-tub-of-popcorn. Tom Cruise hasn't been better in this series than here, and he's always great as the Buster Keaton-type crazy he is in terms of stunts. The cinematography is quite good, with great sound and editing and effects to aid the stunt work. The film is paced perfectly, moving from location to location as deftly…