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  • Spider-Man: Far from Home

    Spider-Man: Far from Home

    ★★

    People really gave this movie a pass when it came out. It’s one of Marvel Studios’ worst. The high school scenes—basically half the movie—are flat. They’re not funny and not romantic. The plot is weak—the whole script is weak. A bunch of good actors and technicians are wasted.

  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★

    BEST PICTURE MARATHON 2020 ACADEMY AWARDS

    What were celebrated films about in 2019? Two-thirds of the films nominated for the Best Picture depict American stories. There's no hypocrisy in this: the Academy Awards were explicitly established to promote the films of American film studios. Actually, two-thirds of the films being American is a relatively low percentage. Even the nominated films that are not American are movies that interested an American audience. So the Best Picture category should say something about…

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  • Gravity

    Gravity

    ★½

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

    It appears that this is going to be 2013's most overrated film. Where to start? I'll limit myself to ten points.

    1) Neither Sandra Bullock nor George Clooney are remotely plausible as astronauts.

    2) Extreme close-ups of her plastic-surgery-altered/heavily-made-up-face and her skinny-gym-body are distracting (see #1).

    3) The "artistic" shot of Bullock's character framed to suggest a fetus in the womb is almost laughably broad. We get it : the cable is supposed to be the umbilical cord, she's curled…

  • Ida

    Ida

    ★★★

    In the end there is too much burden placed on Agata Trzebuchowska's face: it is a pretty face and the waiflike Polish actress does a good job looking soulful, but the camera lingers on close-ups of her far too much. Since the actress plays a character who speaks little and is wrapped up in a headscarf, the director asks far too much of her eyes, cheekbones, and dimple. The director is clearly in love with her face and wants the…