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  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★

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

    For a while there during the second half of the ever-ambitious 80s we saw a string of comedies get released featuring protagonists who, because of their hunger to improve their lives somehow, grossly misrepresented themselves to the rest of the world. Girls became boys, nerds turned into cool kids, mail clerks passed as executives, whitey went black before he was inevitably kicked back. These films were (for their time) wild and occasionally outrageous but also a little predictable. You always…

  • Green Book

    Green Book

    ★★★★½

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

    One question I wrestled with while watching Green Book is "why are we still making this kind of movie?" I felt like we'd been here before--with the most obvious comparison being to Driving Miss Daisy--but certainly in countless other TV shows and movies before and since then. But then I thought about how many people there are in the world who still hold racist sentiments similar to those exhibited by Viggo Mortensen's Frank. I feel like in large part it's…

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  • The Battle of Kerzhenets

    The Battle of Kerzhenets

    ★★★★

    The Weekly Animation Challenge 2020
    Week 4: Cutout Animation
    --
    Wordless Ivan Ivanov-Vano short set to Rimsky-Korsakov features the combatants of a Medieval Russian fresco climbing down off the wall for a massive battle, Russians versus Mongols, with a special cameo by the Virgin Mary. Based on Rimsky-Korsakov's opera  The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya.

    A classic score plus the playful manipulation of space, delicate earth tone colorings of these two 2-D cut-out figure…

  • WHAT DID JACK DO?

    WHAT DID JACK DO?

    ★★★★★

    As I sat there entranced and chortling, watching David Lynch and a Capuchin monkey in a suit trade cryptic quasi-noir clichés, the monkey with a voice one step removed from reality like he's a denizen of the Black Lodge which I slowly came to realize was also Lynch's voice thus making this like a really weird ventriloquist act, the minutes of the short film passing by way faster than I was realizing, I suddenly had the sensation that my head…

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  • Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond- Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton

    Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond- Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton

    ★★★★

    The very first shot of Jim and Andy is of a now gray-bearded 55-year-old Jim Carrey, and it feels like he's playing a character. Is this Old Jim we're seeing? Or Documentary Jim? Or are we just so used to Some Character Jim that we don't recognize the real him when we see it? Or even more disconcerting: did Real Jim get tossed aside somewhere along the road to the fame he now enjoys, possibly lost in the funhouse that…

  • Rocky

    Rocky

    ★★★★★

    If ever I'm in a coma and you can't reach me, play some of Bill Conti's score for the Rocky series (Conquest might work best). That about illustrates how deeply Rocky resonates with me, and a lot of other people.

    Poverty. Illness. Discrimination. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

    Rocky speaks past those battles to the deepest part of each of us, the part which may sometimes be beaten but refuses to be defeated. And…