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  • Lust, Caution

    Lust, Caution

    ★★★½

    Alternate title:

    “Subterfuge, Mahjong”

  • Rain Man

    Rain Man

    ★★★½

    Incredibly, RAIN MAN is the top grossing film of 1988 with $354.8 million. That's $768.9 million in 2020 dollars, but gone are the days of adult-skewing dramas ruling the roost.

    The heart of the movie is Dustin Hoffman's compelling, showy performance as an autistic savant. It's not the best performance of the year (1988 was a strong year for comedies)... though it certainly fits the bill for Oscar Bait.

    Looking back, the Best Picture award should have gone to WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? or BEETLEJUICE. Still, RAIN MAN remains a solid drama if you've never seen it before.

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  • The Invisible Man

    The Invisible Man

    ★★★★

    With all due respect to the Claude Rains' 1933 original and Kevin Bacon's HOLLOW MAN... "Surprise!" There's a new definitive version.

    Leigh Whannell's idea to reinvent THE INVISIBLE MAN as a #MeToo parable that says we need to listen to women is a stroke of genius.

    Plus,
    All (!) The (!) Characters (!) Are (!) Smart (!)

    Only a few contrivances keep the film from greatness, e.g. you can't wash paint off that fast.

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    ★★½

    There's a moment in The Force Awakens when R2-D2 "wakes up" for no reason except it's what needs to happen for a cheap, fist-pumping story beat.

    Now expand that to 2 1/2 hours and you have Rise of Skywalker.