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  • Beauty and the Beast

    Beauty and the Beast

    ★★

    The choice to make Cinderella live action was firstly much more successful and secondly not nearly as baffling as this, a film so reliant on special effects that it might as well be animated. On top of that, it doesn't look very good, the beast looks clunky and truly ugly in the nighttime finale (apparently in post-production Bill Condon's wish to keep the beast completely practical was overridden). It's not terrible but it is a misguided, overlong slog.

  • The Big Sick

    The Big Sick

    ★★★★

    Wonderful romantic comedy/hospital drama but the final ten to fifteen minutes seems a bit lost in its attempts to wrap things up, straddling the line between dragging things out and not giving us an unearned, rushed reunion. It works well enough but (sadly for Zoe Kazan) everything with her in a coma is amazing, Ray Romano and Holly Hunter going into the pantheon of great movie parents, and that comedy club freakout is a top scene contender for the year.…

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  • Before Sunrise

    Before Sunrise

    ★★★★★

    "If there's any kind of magic in this world, it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something."

    I'm not a talker. I'm too self-conscious, too timid, too introverted, preferring instead to convey my thoughts in writing, after I've given myself a proper amount of time to mull them over. Obviously this isn't logical when dealing with other human beings, we interact through our words, in the moment, through eye contact and hand gestures and dialogue. My inability…

  • The Village

    The Village

    ★★★★★

    "The world moves for love, it kneels before it in awe."

    I know my credibility as a film fan, and possibly my sanity, may be called into question, but M. Night Shyamalan's masterpiece doesn't feature ghosts, superheroes, or aliens. It involves the things we shall not speak of (but really should, like religion, politics, etc.), good colors and bad colors, and, most importantly, an affecting love story wrapped up in a timely fable of post-9/11 fear-mongering. With a surprisingly deep…