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  • Hypocrites

    Hypocrites

    ★★★★

    This is what I love about the early silents. There are no rules - or at least, there aren't the rules we assume movies will follow today. There is nothing in HYPOCRITES that works as a realistic portrayal of anything at all - unless you want to see it as a story about a priest who is so sad that people don't believe anymore, he sits down and just literary dies.

    There's the priest. Then there's his spiritual self, or…

  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    ★★★½

    I keep coming back to this movie. For one thing, it thoroughly entertains me, but I also feel it provides an opening for a discussion on the importance of spectacle in cinema.

    Cinema is the artform of daze. Unlike a great painting or a masterpiece novel, there is always something nonsensical about even the best movies ever made. The train is still arriving at the station. The images in a movie are always on some level symbolic, and their logic…

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  • Baywatch: Panic at Malibu Pier

    Baywatch: Panic at Malibu Pier

    ★★

    That's quite a dramatic title, makes you think the Baywatch pilot is going to be about a mad bomber targeting the beach with an extra sniper rifle to boot. Instead there's no panic at all, just white models running in crowds amazingly never knocking anyone over (perhaps they're the only ones running in slow motion?) and lots of seagulls but no droppings anywhere.

  • Last Days in the Desert

    Last Days in the Desert

    ★★½

    Low-key-bland piece of Biblical fan fiction where Ewan McGregor plays both Jesus and Satan out in the desert of temptation - but instead of temptation, Jesus meets a family. Sick mom, grumpy dad, somewhat frustrated son. Jay follows, tries to help, aaaaand, well...? That's a movie, I guess. It's fairly well acted, sympathetically small and stripped down, but under the finely tuned mood there's only flat, didactic dialogue and an underdeveloped plot with weak themes. The kind of movie where…

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  • The Touch

    The Touch

    ★★

    Catching up with Bergman 16/20

    Elliot: Hi. I'm Elliot Gould. Is this a Bergman movie? It seems I'm in Sweden.

    Bibi: Oh, yes hello, we're two Swedish actors who have worked with Ingmar for more than twenty years, let's speak English for a while

    E: Okay, um. Here's a line for you, Bibi: I love you

    B: You do?

    E: Yes

    B: I probably love you too

    E: That's fine.

    B: I mean I'm not sure. I'm pregnant?

    E: Sorry,…

  • Pan's Labyrinth

    Pan's Labyrinth

    ★★★

    After eight years, it's a bit of a letdown to find that PAN'S LABYRINTH really isn't a film about any labyrinth of Pan's but rather a film about a Spanish fascist general killing or torturing a bunch of people. In the confused moral landscape of the film, fascism seems to constitute "reality"; so I guess we're all fascists at heart, unless we live in fantasy worlds of course.

    The film is imaginative but I found it to be a bit…