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  • The Florida Project

    The Florida Project

    ★★★½

    The title is a coy allusion to the working name of Walt Disney's Orlando theme park during his lifetime, and crudely, to the out-of-sight / out-of-mind notion of "housing projects," applied here not to government housing but to the makeshift co-opting of low-rent motels along the Kissimmee highway as a cruel haven of sorts for impoverished families. Sean Baker's film tries to illuminate one such single mother and child, and their haphazard circle, and often succeeds at rendering their world…

  • Isle of Dogs

    Isle of Dogs

    ★★★★

    I don't have much to say except it's brilliant, and just incredibly exuberant and fun, and cute/silly without feeling frivolous. Not being a huge Miyazaki fan the comparison that sprang to my mind was Watership Down, except with jokes. Despite complaints that it doesn't have much emotional resonance I found that its touching moments were low key and subtle enough to really sting, and I appreciate that Anderson doesn't really hold the audience's hand through either the jokes or the…

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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…