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  • Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    ★★★½

    Ad Astra is a really frustrating movie. Not because it's bad, but because you can see a MUCH better director's cut buried within it. I understand that this was Gray's first wide release, but the studio notes are so painfully obvious. All of his movie's deal with internalized, unspoken emotion. That's what he's best at communicating. It's annoying that Fox didn't trust him to achieve it without a voiceover holding your hand and explaining every step of the character arc.…

  • Mulholland Drive

    Mulholland Drive

    ★★★★

    I like how I'd seen this movie on DVD several times. Both in high school and in college, and I always liked it but I never really got it. Then after living in LA for a couple years, I rewatch it and it makes perfect sense from beginning to end. Seeing it on the big screen made a difference too. I'd never really watched any Lynch with a full audience before, but it really changes the experience. It's so insane to see a movie like this and think about the fact that it was released by a major studio.

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  • Native Son

    Native Son

    ★★★½

    Sundance #2:

    The second act of Native Son is really fantastic. The first takes a minute to find its footing, but once the story engine kicks in, there isn’t a wasted scene and it’s completely engrossing. The transition from the second act to the third starts with a time jump, and feels a little unbalanced afterward. I don’t know if the time jump is the culprit or if it’s all the story threads that are never revisited, but the script…

  • Caroline

    Caroline

    ★★★★

    Beautifully simple with great performances. It does a really good job of turning the tension up slowly from the first shot to the last. The loose tooth bookend works so well.