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  • Steve Jobs

    Steve Jobs

    ★★

    First, let's look at a relevant passage from Nietzsche's Menschliches, Allzumenschliches:

    "With all great deceivers there is a noteworthy occurrence to which they owe their power. In the actual act of deception, with all its preparations, its enthralling in voice, expression and gesture, in the midst of the scenery designed to give it effect, they are overcome by belief in themselves: it is this which then speaks so miraculously and compellingly to those who surround them. The founders of religions…

  • Shoah

    Shoah

    ★★★★★

    Of course, "Shoah" is a monumental achievement of cinema--there's never been anything like it, and probably won't be ever again. What could compare? Perhaps Erich von Stroheim's original 9+ hour cut of "Greed," as yet still lost to history, might come close. Perhaps. But while "Greed" would be the equal to "Shoah" in its artifice, it would inevitably pale in comparison to the raw power of the testimony describing the worst crimes in human history.

    Whether director Claude Lanzmann realized…

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  • The Blood of Heroes

    The Blood of Heroes

    ★★★★

    There's an argument to be made that this is the greatest of all sports films.

  • What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

    What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

    ★★★

    Relying as it does on interviews of friends and family who are generally favorably disposed towards her (even when acknowledging her flaws in passing), it should thus be of little surprise that "What She Said" takes a laudatory of view of its subject. But while Pauline Kael's influence among a very minute, culturally-engaged, elite slice of the American public during a 20-year period was significant, it is easy to overestimate it, as is the case here.

    Like any staff critic…

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  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★½

    "Let the past die."

    Sage advice in the form of a line said by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), which constitutes just about the only worthwhile dialogue in this ill-conceived, sloppy mish-mash of Original Trilogy callbacks, inexplicable character choices, redundant action sequences, silly technology, narrative amnesia, tedious exposition, treacly nonsense, and just plain old bad acting.

  • Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    ★★

    An ideal action film for today's ADHD, instant gratification culture, "Mission: Impossible -- Fallout" satisfies the bare minimum plot & character necessities that its target audience requires--namely, that any scenes/actions/dialogue that follow each other sequentially, no matter how incongruous, tone-deaf, or plain silly, constitutes an acceptable narrative.

    The problem with a film (such as this one) that is, in essence, an action sequence bukkake, is that no matter how elaborate or well-executed those sequences are, there are so many of them,…