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  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    ★★★★★

    I love this movie so much. It features some of the best characters of any Star Wars film, the most interesting and beautiful locations, wonderful costumes. In just one movie, Rogue One introduces a bunch of characters, hints at just enough of their backstories, and then takes each of them to a very different place before their end. The prequels couldn't do any of this in three movies, and the 7-9 trilogy doesn't seem to be doing much better.

    I…

  • It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

    It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

    ★★★★

    Every time I watch this, I marvel at what an impression it made on me as a kid, because it now seems so lite and inconsequential. Yet it is a strong memory from my growing-up years.

    But as lite as it is, this time I was surprisingly affected by Linus's simple, idealistic faith. I resonate with his desperation to make at least this one little part of the world perfect and "sincere." How often I've wished that, too--not that I…

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  • Inception

    Inception

    ★★★★★

    I love this movie more every time I see it. And every time, I see it a little differently, thinking about different ways it all fits together. This time, it really felt to me like every character is just one person. The repeated comments about "they're just projections," the iterations of the same phrases and actions by different characters . . . Everything seems to point to this being different aspects of one person—which doesn't answer whether that one person…

  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    I only found this movie sad, not intriguing, interesting, or enlightening in any way. I didn't see much of a character arc for either of the two protagonists; who they were at the beginning was basically who they were at the end: cold, self-centered, unrepentant, unwilling to change. I find it hard to watch an entire story about characters like that.

    Lee's criminal activity comes across not as super-intelligent (which I think it was in reality) but as clumsy and…

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  • Kubo and the Two Strings

    Kubo and the Two Strings

    ★★★★★

    The seven or so trailers we endured before Kubo and the Two Strings seem to prove a hypothesis I have that there is only one good animated film for every seven or so that are produced. Kubo is that film. It will be praised for the gorgeous animation, design, and music, but these technical triumphs would be meaningless without good storytelling. Kubo proves that movie storytelling has not entirely died under the weight of endless iterations of franchises, sequels, and…

  • Inception

    Inception

    ★★★★★

    I don't know how I so disliked this movie the first time I watched it.

    Each time I've watched it since, I've enjoyed it more and more. On this viewing, I was especially noticing connections to Vertigo. The most obvious visual link, of course, is when Ariadne, in the second dream level, is wearing the same outfit and hairstyle as Madeleine. This seems to signify that Ariadne, like Madeleine, is being used by a protagonist desperate to remake the world…