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  • Shadow of the Thin Man

    Shadow of the Thin Man

    ★★★★

    Revolving around a racetrack murder, this one feels like a fresh start for the series, despite adhering to the formula and everyone effortlessly reprising their roles despite noticeable aging. The addition of Nick Jr. as a character adds some welcome domestic humor. Donna Reed is the co-star, and Stella Adler has a small role.

  • The Thin Man Goes Home

    The Thin Man Goes Home

    ★★★★

    Perhaps the most comedic of all the films, Nick goes to stay with his parents in a small town, where he's the local hero. Domestic humor abounds, and of course there's a murder. At this point they could make Thin Man movies in their sleep, but the quality hasn't really diminished.

  • Song of the Thin Man

    Song of the Thin Man

    ★★★★

    The final Thin Man still maintains the same high production quality, and Loy and Powell don't seem bored with the roles, but I'm certainly losing interest. These films weren't meant to be watched all at the same time, despite their attempts to keep it fresh. The story plunges them into the world of jazz music and hep cat slang, where the usual murder stuff happens. Best of all is young Dean Stockwell as Nick Jr. and Gloria Grahame in a see-through top.

  • Tale of Tales

    Tale of Tales

    ★★★

    While the adult fairy tales are interesting and the production design is magnificent, the direction is bland and the pacing is very slow, not to mention that all the stories aren't really tied up in a satisfying way, making it hard to recommend what should be hailed as a delightfully inventive and visually stunning piece of cinema.

  • The Bad and the Beautiful

    The Bad and the Beautiful

    ★★★★

    There's as much bad as there is beautiful in this melodramatic, Oscar-baiting love letter to Hollywood filmmaking. All the fine acting, acts of betrayal, and behind-the-scenes look at the craft are undermined by the cheesy flashback structure, hammy dramatics, and a gloriously awful hysterical breakdown in a speeding car. It's a movie that constantly pulls between clever insight and tawdry excess, but my biggest reaction might be, "How did Gloria Grahame get an Oscar for that?"

  • Two Weeks in Another Town

    Two Weeks in Another Town

    ★★★

    Ten years later, the team behind Bad and the Beautiful (star Kirk Douglas, director Vincent Minnelli, writer Charles Schnee, and producer John Houseman) are back with another behind-the-scenes story that's not a sequel, but shares the same universe in an early example of meta-filmmaking. The drama isn't as highly wrought and the ending is abrupt, but the Rome setting gives it a touch of La Dolce Vita, and of course they had to revisit that crazy car hysteria as if…

  • The Post

    The Post

    ★★★★

    Spielberg lays it on a bit thick, and maybe Tom Hanks is miscast, but it's a masterfully told story of journalism doing its job with great period details. I'd rather see a movie about Robert McNamara (and yeah, I've seen The Fog of War)

  • WALL·E

    WALL·E

    ★★★★★

    Maybe the robots are a little too human, but the storytelling is exceptional, and this is one dystopian film that isn't just trying to make you feel bad about the future of the planet while still making its point in an entertaining way. Would make a great double feature with Idiocracy.

  • I, Daniel Blake

    I, Daniel Blake

    ★★★

    A movie about an old man's frustrations at England's government bureaucracy that really just feels like an old man ranting about government bureaucracy. The human drama is less compelling, esp. when it takes a cliche turn.

  • The Bleeding Edge

    The Bleeding Edge

    ★★★

    It spends a lot of time on personal stories but basically concludes that the process for approving medical devices needs to be reformed but that the FDA has been captured by the medical device industry. Is this a surprise?

  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★

    Why is Ryan Gosling acting like a robot? Oh, because he is a robot. Well what about everyone else? Oh, some of them are robots too. Well what about the ones that aren't? Well, um.... Oh, thank god, Harrison Ford just arrived and is showing everyone how to act. Just look at the flood of emotions on his face. He's the only real human being in this whole film. Man, I wish he had a bigger role. Why did it…

  • The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years

    The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years

    ★★★★

    The world didn't need another Beatles documentary, but the way this focuses on their life as live performers instead of the music is actually a refreshing take on Beatlemania. The hard working boys basically got too big for public life - before the music industry caught up to the enormous scale of rock and roll. The DVD offers a bonus disc that is basically another full length documentary that is more about their early life and their music. It is well worth watching too.