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  • American Beauty

    American Beauty

    ★★½

    The fact that this was not only nominated, but won Best Picture says a lot about the state of Hollywood in 1999. American Beauty tries to subvert the idyllic suburban life that Hollywood promoted for decades.

  • Scream

    Scream

    ★★

    Scream implements some of the same horror tropes it's ostensibly making fun of. The acting is generally sub-par. And characters disregard logic on numerous occasions.

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  • Baadasssss!

    Baadasssss!

    ★★★★

    Part documentary, all homage to Melvin Van Peebles and the work that went into making his breakthrough film, SWEET SWEETBACK'S BAADASSSSS SONG. The stakes were high for Melvin. He spent all of his money, and the stress took a terrible toll on him, physically. Perseverance, guts, attitude and ambition

  • The Shape of Water

    The Shape of Water

    ★½

    Take a one-dimensional sadist, with a dash of stereotypical christian hypocrisy. Add a completely unbelievable romantic relationship between a mute cleaning lady and a fish "man" (I use the term, man, very loosely). Then, throw in predictable plot points and a heavy-handed message about how we should respect people's differences. What you get is an over-rated disappointment.