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  • The Wizard of Oz

    The Wizard of Oz

    ★★½

    Not a Popular Opinion

    I must have seen the movie first. I mean, I must have. I can't have read the book until I was seven or eight, and I must have seen the movie by then. But the reason I dislike the movie as much as I do--and while I'm giving it the rating I am, that's not just about how much I like it but also about how technically skilled I think it is--has much to do with…

  • The Witches

    The Witches

    ★★

    Roald Dahl's Last Straw

    Honestly, it would have surprised me to find out at the time that Roald Dahl attended the premiere of this movie, because I thought he was long since dead. As it happens, he died later that year. In the intervening months, he wrote a new will that had very strict requirements as to adaptations of his work, because he was so consistently disappointed on that subject. He thought this was vulgar and in bad taste. Interestingly,…

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  • Life Itself

    Life Itself

    ★★★★★

    Another Lost Father Figure

    Dear Roger,

    It's not like you'd be surprised it wasn't nominated. I think we could have shared a grim smile, if you'd still been able to smile. No, of course Steve James wasn't nominated for Best Documentary Feature for this, even though it's better than Finding Vivian Maier. Leaving aside that there seems to always be one mediocre film nominated in the category, every year, we could share a grumble about Hoop Dreams. If you'd still…

  • Gone Girl

    Gone Girl

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The Promised Feminist Non-Click-Bait Perspective

    I don't normally do spoilers, as my regular readers know, but I really felt I had to this time. This is going to involve a heavy-duty discussion of the ending, because I promised a friend online that I'd talk about it from a feminist perspective, and I'm pretty sure, having watched it, that what he wanted to talk about was the ending. Or anyway about the last twenty minutes to half hour, which is about…