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  • Devil in a Blue Dress

    Devil in a Blue Dress

    ★★★★½

    Director Carl Franklin’s Devil in a Blue Dress opens with a shot of a Black neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. The hustle and bustle is there as DP Tak Fujimoto’s camera cranes up, winding around a building before moving through a window. Inside, it is a bar with Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins (Denzel Washington) sitting down, scanning a newspaper for job opportunities. He recently lost his because he showed up late for work. Now, his life hangs in the balance. Two…

  • Watermelon Man

    Watermelon Man

    ★★★★

    Jeff Gerber (Godfrey Cambridge) is a racist. He may cover it up in “jokes” or off-color comments that he tries to play off with “no offense” caveats, but make no mistake: he hates Black people. Just see how he reacts to news stories about riots and how he calls them “uppity blacks” for daring to want an equal society. In all corners of his life, he is obnoxious. His workout routine at home is exhaustive and exhausting to watch. On…

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  • 2019: After the Fall of New York

    2019: After the Fall of New York

    ★★★

    The 1980s: 43/100
    1983 Ranked

    I never know how to rate or even review these Italian B-movies. Yes, they are trash. That is the point. The acting is horrible and the dubs are shocking. The atmosphere is a mix of cigarette smoke - think middle-aged man four packs deep by 10AM - and stale alcohol, while every man in the film is inexplicably horny. While the men are either B-movie legends or random guys pulled off the street, the lead…

  • Christmas in July

    Christmas in July

    ★★★★

    The 1940s: 54/100

    Schmaltzy and sentimental yet deeply cynical at the same time. In other words, classic Preston Sturges. Jimmy MacDonald (Dick Powell) is a young man in love. Girlfriend Betty (Ellen Drew) is his biggest fan. They spend evenings on rooftops looking at the stars and listening to the radio. Of course, he is also listening in to hear the results of the latest contest he entered. It was a slogan contest for a coffee company with millions of…

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    2016 Ranked
    Top 100 Films
    Seen in Theaters

    Postmodernism is a film theory that suggests that there is nothing original anymore. If it could be made, it has been made and we are doomed to simply remake a once original idea in perpetuity. Postmodernism also includes ideas regarding nostalgia and hyperreality, positing that cities such as Los Angeles may physically be real, but are in fact, dream worlds that are not actually there. In Damien Chazelle's latest work and, dare…

  • Once Upon a Time in America

    Once Upon a Time in America

    ★★½

    Checking in at just under four hours, Once Upon a Time in America takes a long time to say absolutely nothing unique. A gangster film, the film does nothing for the gangster genre that could not be accomplished in a far shorter runtime because oh my God is this thing long. It just takes forever to end and even then, I still had no idea why it took so long. I love gangster films with The Godfather Parts I and…