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  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    ★★★★

    I continue to be enthralled by this film, noticing more with each viewing. I'm still not sure I can put it all together, but the parts are sublime.

  • Aquaman

    Aquaman

    ★★½

    Not quite the full Malick, but still one of those films that had me enthralled after 10 minutes, thinking it was good after 20 minutes, still earning my grudging respect after 30 minutes, and admitting I was thoroughly bored after 40.

    I didn't check my watch every five minutes thereafter, and the action sequences were actually watchable in a way that I don't often find in the genre.

    Still--and I say this as someone who has largely dismissed claims that…

  • Mary Poppins Returns

    Mary Poppins Returns

    ★★★½

    I was, unfortunately, sick when I watched this, which always complicates the viewing experience. It had an undeniable joy that is infectious and carries one over the quibbles. (Whishaw, so good in Bright Star, is kinda bland here, and I'm not a fan of what they did overall with Jane and Michael's characters.

    On the plus side, though, Blunt is wowzer good and Miranda is quite possibly even better.

    Mary Poppins is less about story focus than story as frame,…

  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    ★★★½

    I went int somewhat prejudiced against the movie. I didn't (still don't) like the idea of supporting the chronicle of a criminal enterprise. But this is a nuanced movie that never excuses Lee or romanticizes her criminal enterprise while all the time using it to reflect on larger questions of justice, self-esteem, and the emotional consequences of living in a world devoid of meaning.

  • Stan & Ollie

    Stan & Ollie

    There's an understated sweetness to it that is kinda endearing.

  • Beautiful Boy

    Beautiful Boy

    I was not really impressed, but it wasn't terrible. Just sort of "meh."

    But I wanted to say, just once, I'd like to see a movie where a modern teen says to a parent of my generation, "But you did drugs when you were my age, right?" and have the parent say, "No, actually I never did."

  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    I can't even...

    Sort of like a cross between Eyes Wide Shut and the Jabba the Hut/Leia scenes in Return of the Jedi...

  • Ralph Breaks the Internet

    Ralph Breaks the Internet

    ★★½

    Cute but lacking emotional depth

  • Lion

    Lion

    ★★★

    On a rewatch, I bumped this up.

  • Searching for Ingmar Bergman

    Searching for Ingmar Bergman

    I think we can all agree that Bergman films are great, but I would rather watch a more sustained study (like maybe a Criterion featurette) than a a series of general praises.

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    ★★★★

    I usually find myself the ambivalent cousin to the family of Coen admirers, but I confess this movie worked well for me. The anthology format plays to what I consider the Coens' strengths--quick and precise characterization and scenes with multiple layers--while downplaying what I consider their weaknesses--tonal shifts that are initially endearing but too numerous and quirkiness (or grotesques) for their own sake rather than in service to a larger story.

    I did think it went on one story too…

  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

    The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

    ★★★½

    I enjoyed this a heck of a lot more than I thought I would. There are some nits to pick...the world-building is not enough to sustain multiple viewings (which is what I think they want), and the actual ballet dancing is blink-and-you-missed it, but...

    Keira Knightley is fearless, ferocious, and fun. If she is not my favorite actress working today, I don't know who is. It's a fearless performance in the sense that bombing in a role like this could…