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  • Citizen Cohn

    Citizen Cohn

    ★★★½

    Roy Cohn's disgraceful, hypocritical, self-serving career give James Woods ample opportunity to run wild in this bio-pic of a prominent Cold Warrior. There are a few rays of humanity, but most scenes paint Cohn in a justly deserved critical light. Ironically, this renders the framing device (a hospital deathbed visited by the ghosts of Cohn's past) unnecessary, as these resurrected characters preachily tell us what we already know. A solid performance that enlivens a contrived script.

  • Back to the Future

    Back to the Future

    ★★★½

    A pretty good exemplar of the mid-budget 80s feel-good popcorn blockbuster. I never watched this as a kid so I don't have the nostalgic attachment that many others seem to have. As an adult, it's... on the good side of OK, I guess, with Christopher Lloyd being the standout performance and the awkward relationship between Marty and his mother getting plenty of dramatic mileage and laughs too.

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  • Aliens

    Aliens

    ★★★½

    Friends and online movie lovers that I respect have tried to convince me that Aliens is a superior film to the original but I remain unmoved. In fact, while there are a few clever innovations here, I find the whole affair rather underwhelming.

    Aliens deals with the consequences of the first film in a meaningful way, with Ripley's grief over her daughter who was lost to the passage of time and with an unexpected nightmare sequence that reveals her survivor's…

  • In the Mood for Love

    In the Mood for Love

    ★★★★★

    This film has been on my "I-should-probably-check-that-out" list for nearly 20 years... and I now understand what all the hype is about. The lighting and original score set a tone of elegance and propriety while the inclusion of Cuban jazz evokes a cosmopolitan sensibility and - through its lyrics - ambiguity for the ultimate outcome of the plot. Then along comes that subtly expansive ending! It's a good thing I never saw this in the theater because I might be anchored to my seat waiting for the next showing to begin. I am absolutely smitten.