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  • Carnage

    Carnage

    ★★★★

    Clearly a play...competent actors that know their way around each other, the set, and the material. There are certain turns that make sense in a play but in a film come off as a bit contrived. But the dialogue is stellar and seeing mild-mannered upper class New Yorkers go at each others throats is therapeutic as an audience member who has been in PTA meetings with many people like this. A slice of "regular" life and its ugly underbelly.

  • What a Girl Wants

    What a Girl Wants

    ★★

    This film is very predictable. It's a shame that these quality actors were given so little to do. Bynes is charming, but comes across a bit too vapid and of course the film wraps up in a tight little package that is grossly unrealistic. At times the film feels like a throwback to the Princess Diaries and Sabrina and Gigi and and and...everyone is charming on the surface but there is not much tofu underneath. The patriarchal overtones and its gatekeepers are all over this teen flick.

  • Jaws

    Jaws

    ★★★★

    An iconic film that keeps the audience wrapped around its finger and in taut suspense. We are Roy Scheider and he takes us through the peril as if we were surfing on the edge of a knife. He wraps us into his world. I first saw this film on a 4th of July film binge-fest and it was scary. Now that I have seen it a few times it is less scary, but it still makes me jump. And the mayor...that mayor...his character has taken on new meaning since the onset of COVID-19. It certainly isn't safe to go out on the beach now...

  • Sonic the Hedgehog

    Sonic the Hedgehog

    ★★★★

    I did not expect much from this film and was wowed by the tight script and all the scenery Jim Carrey gets to chew on this film. But the star, Sonic, really fills up the screen and his pop culture nods are reminiscent of MCU, but are also all his own. He's endearing without feeling like he's trying too hard. Carrey reminds you why his comedic timing and his physical comedy is incomparable. Everyone else is along for the ride…

  • The Lincoln Lawyer

    The Lincoln Lawyer

    ★★★★

    McConaughey exudes charm and finesse as a an attorney for people who are more guilty than not, but who still need representation. The film works because the story although a bit by the book soaks up the LA backdrop and the cast of characters all bring something special to the plot. There is a lot of movie to get through and you could say it belabors the point a bit, but it's such a fun ride that you forgive the film's indulgences. A great film for dinner and a movie.

  • My Neighbor Totoro

    My Neighbor Totoro

    ★★★★★

    A kid's film where there is no antagonist. Kids being able to express themselves and expend their personalities into a world of nature that accepts them. Totoro is benign in his bigness and does not default into the cutesy Fievel syndrome that was popular in the 1980s. A slow-paced film that takes children's feelings seriously and reveals how much better it is to believe and to love each other and finds beauty in the mundane and in community. My four year old loves it and yells for Totoro at least 4 or 5 times a week.

  • Scoob!

    Scoob!

    ★★★

    An unexpected lighthearted film that has fun jokes and an interesting storyline. The whole "I thought we were best friends" thing gets a little tired, and I wish that they would have spent a bit more time with the Mystery Machine gang as kids, but it is still a fun ride. The film has heart and it is still fun to see Scooby and Shaggy run away from ghosts. The ending is a bit trite, but the sentimentality is spot on.

  • Grey Gardens

    Grey Gardens

    ★★★★★

    Wow...a film like no other. A documentary that reveals instead of purports. Two women living within a heavy patriarchal structure that is withering away, but not without consequence. How does one encapsulate loneliness...a life lived in a box...decay...co-dependence...joy. An incredible feat to offer dignity to women refusing to be erased and continue to take up space.

  • The Adventures of Robin Hood

    The Adventures of Robin Hood

    ★★★★

    A film that is surprisingly refreshing. The sets, the action sequences and the costumes, probably all caused quite a stir in 1938. The film's sets feel epic, and its lush color feels something out of the 1950s. It is still a little strange to see so many people in tights for what appears to be no reason, but it is still all a swashbuckling good time.

  • Remember the Titans

    Remember the Titans

    ★★

    This film is very watchable, predictable, and manipulative. This does not take away from the film's charm. However, it is far too reductive in its portrayal of race relations and puts a bit too much faith in football for my taste. Everyone performs well and it all feels heartfelt, but it is also all a bit too tidy and cue the swelling music.

  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High

    Fast Times at Ridgemont High

    ★★★★

    The film that started the high school, mall culture, sex, drugs, and fast-food jobs narratives. Now these films are plentiful, but Heckerling nailed this culture! This film still stands as an original and the Go-Go's in the background pulse through this film. The reverberations of this film and how it shifted teen culture is still seen, Stranger Things Season 3 anyone?

  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★★★

    A beautiful film focusing on a relationship between two women during a multi-layered and complex time. The film does a subtle job of interweaving class into its narrative and you are well aware of the privilege and similarly the traps that these women feel they need to navigate. I appreciate the lack of male gaze in this film which should merit a 5 on its own, however I was not taken by this film emotionally. It did not reach me,…