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  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    ★★

    I understand people love these films but I just find so much of this to be dreadfully slow and overblown. Sure, like everyone else I think Gollum is a great character and that spider sequence is the stuff of my nightmares, but the battles are so much repetitiveness and Gandalf is a wizard who does nothing but hit people with his staff, and that ending just goes on and on and on, and then there's that other ending and the…

  • The L-Shaped Room

    The L-Shaped Room

    ★★★★½

    "You'd be surprised how many colds go on for nine months and then weigh 6 1/2 pounds."

    An under-seen drama about a young French woman who comes to London pregnant and alone and the colorful cast of characters she meets in her new boarding house, The L-Shaped Room is a wonderful, warm-hearted film that is as detailed in its setting as it is in its characterizations. I liken it to the films of Thomas McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor,…

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  • Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife

    Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife

    ★★

    Maybe Baby Cobra, her previous special, is funny.

  • Revenge

    Revenge

    ★★★

    While there are certainly elements of this feminist rape revenge fantasy to admire, from the way the camera initially ogles the victim, putting us in the heads of her assailants (there's more ass shots in fifteen minutes than an entire Michael Bay film...okay, maybe not), to stylistic touches like drops of blood landing like cannonballs on ants, to the way the final showdown puts the man in a state of naked vulnerability, but I was never completely enamored with a…

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  • 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…

  • 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…