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  • Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

    Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

    ★★★

    3.0/5.0 = Good

    The first 30 minutes of this are demonstrably better than the ensuing hour, but it does end on a high note by making a clear case that the joke is on Albert Brooks' naive, white, western-centric protagonist for unwittingly starting a conflict in the middle east because of his selfish antics — it ends with a quasi-BURN AFTER READING shrug of American ignorance which I love.

    The set up to this is riotously funny, and I absolutely…

  • Ocean's Eleven

    Ocean's Eleven

    ★★★★★

    5.0/5.0 = Masterpiece

    A perfect movie. Sure, there are a handful of awkwardly timed edits and transitions here that don't totally click (most notably the very off-putting edit of Clooney and Damon entering the vault after it's blown, not sure what footage they were missing but that cut just doesn't work), but the seamless weaving and juxtaposition of ambitious zooming, panning, tilting, and dollying cinematography with some of the most luscious Las Vegas iconography is a sight to behold. It's…

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  • Dragged Across Concrete

    Dragged Across Concrete

    ★★★★★

    5.0/5.0 = Masterpiece

    The greatest heist film since HEAT, the best cops and robbers film since HEAT, the best hard-boiled crime film since HEAT. DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE is a modern masterpiece. A glacially paced procedural that transitions from slow-cinema stakeout caper to ultra tactical shoot 'em up. Guns have replaced fists in Zahler's third cinematic outing, but the bullets are used sparingly.

    As such, you feel the weight of every miss and every hit. His ultra wide compositions, devoid of…

  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    ★★★★★

    5.0/5.0 = Masterpiece

    Many things can be said of the cinema of Tarantino, but perhaps the one thing we all so often forget to acknowledge is just how much he actually loves what he does. No filmmaker in modern cinema belts out his love for the movies quite like Quentin. He is enamored with not only its history, but its mystique. Its ability to influence culture and fuel a subconscious fire; whether that's through the dangerous workings of propaganda films,…