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  • Hamilton

    Hamilton

    ★★★★★

    Although I grew up loving West Side Story and Grease, Broadway never meant all that much to me.

    But due to the fact that many of my creative heroes so revere the Great White Way and the style it represents, I've always maintained (an admittedly apathetic) respect for the form. I am apathetic no longer. This beautifully rendered recording of Lin-Manuel's singular creation has inspired in me the deep feelings I never understood in others. I understand now. Suddenly all…

  • Angel Has Fallen

    Angel Has Fallen

    ★★★

    A step up from the second one, which was a considerable step down from the first one, which I dug.

    Where Olympus had a preoccupation with head-stabbing, this one has a preoccupation with dudes being hurled horizontally by close-range explosions. 

    The compositing on some scenes is embarrassingly bad (e.g. the stuff on the boat), but the action set pieces are mostly decent and the supporting cart overqualified - Danny Huston. Tim Blake Nelson, Nick Nolte.

    Not in any way amazing,…

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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★★★★

    This movie utterly destroyed me. I am destroyed. I am in small pieces, scattered on the ground. It is a wonderful feeling.

    It seems paradoxical that something can be so subtle and so powerful at the same time.

    The way Adèle Haenel can hint at an expression, and convey its emotion without ever actually going there, is simply astonishing.

    Noémie Merlant embodies a level of self-awareness here that will inspire me for the rest of my days. Seeing her composure…

  • Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    ★★★★½

    This was exactly what I wanted it to be: a beautiful melding of macro adventure and interior emotions. Pitt's increasingly weathered face has rarely been better deployed. Amazing set-pieces. More action than you might expect from Gray. Awesomely-grounded sense of futurism. Marvelous overall.