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  • Felix the Cat Dines and Pines

    Felix the Cat Dines and Pines

    ★★★★½

    Felix is hungry again and tries to create a menu (punch, jumping beans), then tries to eat mouse and chicken but they fight back. He eats a shoe and a can and then takes a nap and has nightmarish dream. The early parts are funny enough, but the surreal dream sequence is the real draw. It's spectacular even in stark black-and-white (there are few shades of gray in these shorts). This, of course, isn't the first or only movie that uses animation to "break" reality, but it is an effect that is well used in this case.

  • Felix Revolts

    Felix Revolts

    ★★★★

    Felix is hungry but nobody will feed him. The town outlaws cats and he fights back, first by luring away fish and making a ruckus (chorus) at night, then the cats go on strike and tell the rats to run rampant, leading to the town asking the cats to come back and letting them have access to the kitchens, trashcans, etc. His character is heavily based on Chaplin's Tramp both aesthetically and thematically (outsiders looking for acceptance), but he also varies between being more catlike and more human in his movement. It's funny, but not as funny as the next one.

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  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence

    A.I. Artificial Intelligence

    ★★★★½

    A.I. is a movie of troubled history. Everybody knows that it was developed by Stanley Kubrick before he died and then Steven Spielberg took over and, some say, ruined it. But that's not quite right. During the 12 year development process Kubrick realized it wasn't really a Kubrick kind of movie and gave it to Spielberg himself, saying it was more suited to his sensibilities. It is. This is no spiritual successor to 2001, though some of the same ideas…

  • City Lights

    City Lights

    ★★★★★

    My fourth Chaplin in a year. I think I like the guy. His tramp character is one of the all time greats and here he gets to play rich, drunk, and in love. All three are great modes for the tramp to play in. The (pretending to be) rich tramp is a delight, full of pomposity and with an even springier step than normal, he walks around like he owns the place. Drunk tramp is maybe the best thing ever.…