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  • SuperFly

    SuperFly

    ★★★

    The key is in the high-powered, automatic weaponry wielded by the various gang and cartel members. The characters in 1972's Super Fly wouldn't be caught dead with them, because Gordon Parks Jr.'s film recognized the dire economic straits in which its protagonist operated his business of running and dealing cocaine. That film was morally complex in its examination of a man who wanted to get out of the game after a near-death experience jars him into his reality. Superfly compresses a lot of these ideas by way of more than just smashing the words in its title together.

    See my full review at Joel on Film.

  • Slice

    Slice

    ★★★

    The concept and style of Slice seem to be about right. This is an homage to those creature features of the 1980s, in which a grim series of supernatural events curses a small town, leaving its inhabitants either to die or to discover the source of the evil and defeat it. Here, a pizza deliveryman is murdered in a quarantined part of town that is home to ghosts, beings whose oppressive nature has alienated them from the living humans and…

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  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★★★½

    There is no getting around the occasional, oft-used phrase, and "Whiplash" calls for it: This film is note-perfect. The trailers and advertisements, irrelevant in the long run to anything but marketing, have sold it short as a sort of "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" for the Juilliard set, but while it comes very close to equaling that by-now-underappreciated gem's power, the film ultimately plays in much more complex areas than simply a "...from Hell"-type thriller (You know…

  • Birdman

    Birdman

    ★★★★★

    Holy crap, the second viewing of this left me reeling. Completely underestimated it the first time. Masterpiece.