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  • Scarlet Street

    Scarlet Street

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Lang's version of La Chienne (previously filmed, brilliantly, by Jean Renoir) is somehow even bleaker and seemingly more uncompromised despite being made in Hollywood for Walter Wanger, distributed by Universal. Edward G. Robinson is impeccably cast as Christopher Cross, the lonely middle-aged cashier and painter in a loveless marriage that has him trapped and abused; in a mindset of desperation and sexual obsession he falls for an "actress" named Kitty (Joan Bennett) who takes him for a ride along with…

  • Certain Women

    Certain Women

    ★★★★

    Wrote more than I meant to and had to move it to the blog. Wrote more than I probably should have, even, though it's shorter than most of what I put over there -- also, sorry it's so informal. Spoilers, kind of?

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  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Random thoughts for the day I watched this for the first time in many years and afterward realized it's been almost exactly a decade since I saw it in the theater, which is a weird feeling:

    When this was released and my then-girlfriend and I saw it and were enchanted by it, I had never been through a breakup. Funny how getting older changes how you see a film like this so much. The scenes establishing Joel and Clementine's relationship…

  • The Black Pirate

    The Black Pirate

    ★★★

    It's hard for us as modern audience members to have a full grasp on what made a star a Star in silent-era Hollywood... then you see a performance like Douglas Fairbanks' in this, and it all becomes clear. His sheer charisma is completely ageless, his agility and comic sensibility -- mugging as he does for the invisible crowd watching -- couldn't be more engaging. The film's hackneyed action-adventure story (of a vengeful hero saving a princess from ruthless pirates who've…