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  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    ★★★★½

    I think I caught this right at the start of home release too because I really wanted to show my kids. They ate it up.

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    ★★★★½

    What a huge surprise - trying to remember what my initial thoughts were, because this is now stitched into my brain. I knew I was excited about Mulaney but that turned out to be just a real special treat on top.

    So funny and smart. Exciting and compassionate. The look and feel are obviously bonkers but I watch a lot bonkers experiments that don't work, and this just totally works in every frame. Gorgeous.

    I'm very tired of Chris Pine.

  • Avengers: Endgame

    Avengers: Endgame

    ★★★½

    Yeah I saw this twice in two days. My wife hadn't seen it.

  • Avengers: Endgame

    Avengers: Endgame

    ★★★½

    Rewarding, but chaotic. After 20-some movies there are loose ends to tie up, and this film does a lot to serve the die-hard fans and also the latecomers. Random thoughts:

    (1) I did not chase down the second Ant-Man, either of the Thor films, or any of the Captain America films that weren't Civil War. Seems like those are some of the most important, plot-wise, to assess the gravity of everything happening here, but it's not like it doesn't work…

  • It

    It

    ★★★★

    Quite a surprise - I thought I'd heard that this was sort of trashy and uneven when it came out, but it's actually very well made. The kids are simply excellent, the setting feels right, and the bad guy is funny, intimidating, and looks awesome. (I wanted to spend more time with the scary clown!)

    I guess I never heard that it did $700MM globally and that still surprises me. There is nothing especially transcendent about the themes, scares, performances,…

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    ★★★★

    This totally works as a collection of shorts, but I'm less sure it fits together as a whole movie. I was really surprised how funny and entertaining the first half was, and about as surprised too when the second half sort of dragged. You could put these in any order, maybe, and fix that problem. (I read this might have been conceived as a television series, which makes all kinds of sense.)

    I won't dwell on mini-reviews of each episode,…

  • Sorry to Bother You

    Sorry to Bother You

    ★★★½

    So I liked this but I was a little underwhelmed by it. (See, expectations.)

    I thought I was walking into a new kind of film by a new voice in America - people had been comparing this to some of my favorite films / filmmakers ever, and so I was eagerly anticipating it.

    I struggled to get through the whole thing. While patches are brilliant, and there's an underlying message that's definitely worth amplifying, I was completely unsold on most…

  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    ★★★★

    Not a lot here for people who already know a lot about the life of Fred Rogers, but still a compelling feature about one of the greatest people ever.

    The treats are really the interviews with people who knew and loved him - they share a piece of history we haven't necessarily heard before.

    The most compelling section for me was right near the end, as the film shifts to the show's footprint in popular culture, particularly as a target…

  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★★★½

    One of my favorite things to do is to walk into a great film with no preconception whatsoever about what it might be. So this part of my review is short: I knew there was a new Alfonso Cuarón thing on Netflix and people were saying nice things about it.*

    I loved it. I cried, not for the heartache in the story but in what that story says about our inability to connect with each other through the gaps of…

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★

    David Lynch has made ten films (yes?) and I've seen nine of them now, leaving only The Straight Story. This, his second, is probably the one that aspired to the most widespread success, and watching it here 34 years later, it is not shocking that it was not successful.

    There's a bunch of classic Lynch stuff in it (things we see for the first time here, that we'll see later in his work) but there's also plenty that makes Lynch's…

  • Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

    Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

    ★★★★

    So my expectations coming into this is that we would meet the man who created Wonder Woman and understand something about his background as a professor. And some women. I guess I just explained the title to you. I'm sorry about that.

    The women are (1) his wife and (2) his student, and he does invent Wonder Woman along the way, but otherwise we're dealing pretty exclusively with polyamory, bondage, submission, and a mess of other kinks present in these…

  • Conan the Barbarian

    Conan the Barbarian

    ★★★½

    Caught an original print of this at a local theater that now focuses on special-interest niche stuff, and this is about perfect for it. I knew that this was early Schwarzenegger, and in the run-up to seeing it, I learned that it's also early Basil Poledouris (Robocop composer) and spent the week leading up listening to his score.

    So: surprises. I didn't know anything about James Earl Jones being in this, and you really can't miss him. The story is…