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  • The Incredible Journey

    The Incredible Journey

    ★★★★

    Three family pets make a 200 mile journey home based largely on a misunderstanding. I knew of this film, adapted from a children's book, and saw the celebrity voiced 90's remake years ago, but didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did. In our age of CGI talking animals, there's something so enjoyable about watching a simple story told via narration and real animal footage (although I suspect the on screen animals didn't have a great time making this).

  • Lean On Me

    Lean On Me

    ★★★

    This movie tells the true (or perhaps truish) story of Joe Clark, the controversial principal of East Side High School in Paterson, New Jersey. The state was threatening to take jurisdiction over the school system away from local government unless 75% of the students could pass a basic skills test that only 38% were passing. Clark was brought in as essentially the only person crazy enough to take this job, and he succeeded (in the short run), even though his…

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  • Brother Sun, Sister Moon

    Brother Sun, Sister Moon

    ★★★★

    In one sense I really think this movie is a little indefensible. It's so earnest and guileless in it's counter-culture portrayal of St. Francis that it should fail completely ... especially with a score by Donovan for heaven's sake. It's a very superficial treatment of quite a serious subject. However, there's something about the stunning painterly cinematography and meditative pace of the film that really works for me, although I'm quietly kicking myself for being taken in the whole time I'm watching it.

  • American Graffiti

    American Graffiti

    ★★★★½

    This is George Lucas' best film. I fully believe he feels this way himself since it's also the one film he hasn't felt the need to tamper with in any way. It's the film that demonstrates that he is capable of writing well-drawn characters and relating human stories in a manner that people can care about. This is clearly his most personal film, so perhaps that's why he can relate it to the audience in human terms. Additionally, it's quite an experimental film in it's own way. The soundtrack in particular is revolutionary for its time.