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  • Dumbo

    Dumbo

    ★★★★

    77/100
    Only exaggerating a gross amount in saying that one of WWII's biggest devastations was a premature end to the original Disney Renaissance, but look at this beast. Not that I refuse to acknowledge the low-budget, lusty hallucinogenics of The Three Caballeros, but here we're talking about the intersection of funny animal and expressionism, cuddly Disney meeting up with F.W. Murnau. Animation apex is (obviously) the pink elephants sequence, but emotional apex is Dumbo being swaddled by the trunk of…

  • Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer

    Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer

    ★★

    38/100
    Don't really see Cedar's choice to show nothing of Norman beyond his confident facade to be that bold, as it provides Cedar an out to let every actor play a talking head. In fact, might be a deadly decision- the film's ludicrous* Chekhov's gun is easily placed, because it's the only trait anyone has in the movie. Also, can barely stand glib, ironic, pseudo-intellectual fast-talk that is this devoid of interest**, especially with Josh Charles as a reminder of…

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  • Moonlight

    Moonlight

    ★★½

    49/100 (C+)
    Intones in Batman growl: "The film we NEED, but not the film we DESERVE." Not really bad, or overtly despicable, but a quiet story relayed with too much timidity. Characters never betray initial impressions- Chiron is one-note repressed (to the point of autism spectrum), and he's surrounded by such types as The Drug Dealer with a Heart of Gold, the Pained Junkie Mother, and the Experienced Lover. Jenkins usually directs in long takes, occasionally throwing in some misguided…

  • Jaws

    Jaws

    ★★★★½

    90/100 (Third watch, was 94)
    Jaws belongs to alcohol as much as it belongs to Bruce the Shark. Alcohol appears in about half the scenes, and the central trio, Brody, Hooper, and Quint, can be aptly characterized by how they handle alcohol. Brody, the hydrophobic Everyman, pours wine into beer mugs but can't tolerate Quint's homemade shots. Hooper, the wealthy but surprisingly badass oceanographer, knows to air his wine but can still drink a shot. And Quint, the hardened shark-hunter,…