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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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  • The Maltese Falcon

    The Maltese Falcon

    ★★★½

    After coming to realize how much I was undervaluing Double Indemnity I thought maybe the same could be true for The Maltese Falcon, yet I still only like it and find the quality I appreciate in so many of my favorite films, the rich, rapid fire dialogue, almost exhausting and especially overdone in an exposition heavy climax that feels almost too wordy for its own good. Makes me think of His Girl Friday, another classic I feel I should like more than I do.

  • The Apartment

    The Apartment

    ★★★★★

    Still my favorite Wilder and one of my favorite films of all time but for all my La La Land fans out there, watch that first scene in the restaurant with MacMurray and MacLaine and tell me that melody on the piano doesn't sound familiar. Theft or homage? Anyway, Shirley MacLaine's performance in this breaks my heart every single time.

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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…