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  • Somewhere

    Somewhere

    ★★½

    45/100

    [originally written for Las Vegas Weekly]

    Having previously explored the crippling loneliness of a world-famous actor adrift in Tokyo (Lost in Translation) and the emotional isolation of French royalty (Marie Antoinette), Sofia Coppola now turns her attention in Somewhere to the travails of the less fortunate—specifically, a slightly less world-famous actor with a broken arm. Surprise! He’s lonely and isolated, too.

    First seen driving his sports car in anguished circles, Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) spends the entirety of Somewhere

  • The Peacemaker

    The Peacemaker

    ★★★

    60/100

    [tweets from 2010]

    Beat for beat, this is exactly what I expect from 24: The Movie. And it's often as grim as 24 at its best.

    Critical beefs at the time—breakneck pace, no personal relationship between Clooney and Kidman—seem to me today like (admittedly limited) virtues.

  • Breathless

    Breathless

    ★★★★

    73/100

    [tweet from 2010]

    Feels almost like a bar-napkin sketch compared to what immediately follows, but what an invigorating sketch.

  • Jacob's Ladder

    Jacob's Ladder

    ★★★

    55/100

    [tweet from 2010]

    Second viewing, 20 years later. Obviousness of "twist" bugged me less, has many effective freak-out moments.

  • The King's Speech

    The King's Speech

    ★★★

    53/100

    [originally written for Las Vegas Weekly]

    Having humanized Elizabeth II a few years ago in The Queen, for which Helen Mirren won every Best Actress award known to man, British cinema now turns its middlebrow attention to her father, King George VI, who unexpectedly found himself on the throne just as Hitler began gearing up for war. And, sure enough, Colin Firth, playing the monarch, has already nabbed several major prizes, including Best Actor citations from both the New…

  • Ladies & Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones

    Ladies & Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones

    ★★★½

    67/100

    [tweets from 2010]

    Well, that beats the shit outta Shine a Light, doesn't it? Great set list. "Love in Vain" transcendent.

    I'd never seen Mick Taylor onstage before. He has to be the least demonstrative brain-melting guitarist in rock history.

  • Mercury Rising

    Mercury Rising

    ★½

    21/100

    [tweets from 2010; I have replaced an adjective—beginning with "r" and used to signify "incredibly dumb"—that still seemed largely inoffensive at the time]

    Did you know autistic children are in fact tiny malfunctioning robots? Amazingly stupid in every detail.

    I think my fave bit was the NSA guy telling Willis to look up govt website Einstein. He guesses password "Albert." Wrong. "E=MC2." Access!

  • The Bridge on the River Kwai

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    ★★★★

    78/100

    [tweet from 2010]

    Guinness' Col. Nicholson one of the all-time great movie characters. Holden section does flag.

  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    ★★★★

    78/100

    [tweets from 2010]

    Gets a tad schematic in the home stretch, but Jack's live-wire energy is at its peak.

    Still, I have changed in the 20 yrs since I last saw it. Very conscious now of how drably functional Forman's compositions are.

  • And Everything Is Going Fine

    And Everything Is Going Fine

    ★★★½

    64/100

    [tweets from 2010]

    More of a tribute than a movie, but works as a sort of That's Neurosis! compilation.

    To both the film's credit and its detriment, each excerpt from a performance made me wish I were watching the entire monologue.

  • How Do You Know

    How Do You Know

    ★★★½

    69/100

    [originally written for Las Vegas Weekly]

    As goofily distinctive as its title is forgettably generic, How Do You Know, written and directed by James L. Brooks (Broadcast News, As Good as It Gets), is an undeniable mess. For all its rough patches, however, the film boasts the one element sorely missing from most Hollywood rom-coms: a pulse. Granted, the setup is boilerplate: perky young woman (Reese Witherspoon) must choose between womanizing, commitment-phobic star athlete (Owen Wilson) and sweetly neurotic…

  • Easy Rider

    Easy Rider

    ★★★

    53/100

    [tweet from 2010]

    Third viewing. Still find it mostly insufferable when anyone (excepting Nicholson, big exception) speaks.