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  • Xtro

    Xtro

    ★★★★

    Sometimes I don’t realize how long it’s been since I’ve seen good visual storytelling until something like this stands out so crisply among the crowd. We see an alien go through a whole pod person-type life cycle over the course of the first act with little exposition or setting up of the biological “rules” of what’s happening, yet it all makes sense. XTRO refuses to dumb itself down for you, yet never sacrifices it’s low-budget 80’s b-movie soul.
    For awhile…

  • I Am Not Your Negro

    I Am Not Your Negro

    ★★★½

    After reading 'Notes of a Native Son' in high school, James Baldwin immediately became one of my favorite writers. Samuel L. Jackson's gentle, yet firm recitation of these words is as affecting as any of the images on the screen. Which is a shame, because those expositions are sometimes artless. Sure, Baldwin was sometimes as much of a cultural critic as a scholar of race in America, but the way the footage weaves from historical to modern and literally illustrates…

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  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    ★★★★

    If nothing else, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is successful in delivering a raucous adventure by letting the actors hold the awe and excitement of the iconic franchise on their faces. It is a clear homage to the original trilogy, but doesn't feel like fan fiction the way lesser reboots often do. Or, if it does, it's good fan fiction. Somehow, Abrams' often bravura camerawork and sense of humor makes the movie feel less like fan service and more of…

  • Nixon

    Nixon

    ★½

    I have no idea what Oliver Stone is doing here. This lacks a theme or point-of-view, which isn't necessarily a death sentence... but it totally fails in its more experimental visual and narrative style as well. I'm not even sure what (if anything) is successful in this movie since virtually all elements are buried under a blanket of distracting technique and muddled storytelling.
    Stone's using some of the same unorthodox and disparate filming styles he employed excellently in eliciting the…