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  • Pal Joey

    Pal Joey

    ★★★

    Tonight was an accidental Rita Hayworth (and San Francisco!) double feature. Not great, and the what-if trivia behind the scenes is more interesting what we ultimately get here. (Billy Wilder directing with a lecherous heel of a Jack Lemmon in the lead? Marlene Dietrich in the Rita Hayworth part? Sign me up!) Some great Rodgers & Hart songs, though, including a couple of all-time favorites in “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” and “My Funny Valentine.” But watchable, even if we could’ve (should’ve) had better.

  • The Lady from Shanghai

    The Lady from Shanghai

    ★★★½

    Gotta think on this one, but kind of a mess—Welles’ “Irish brogue” notwithstanding. Some great direction, naturally, but nowhere near as complicated a mystery as it thinks it is. (SPOILER: the person you think did it, done it.) My star rating is a gut reaction and I liked seeing young Welles again. Maybe I should drop the ratings altogether...

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  • The Descent

    The Descent

    ★★★★

    Finally got around to seeing this one. The horror element was fun, and the claustrophobia was genuinely felt, but what I found most compelling was the film's surprisingly progressive representation of gender. The principal cast is made up entirely of women, which seems bold enough (for a film that doesn't take place in a sorority house), but the movie doesn't go out of its way to draw attention to this. These are just people whose friendship is based on their…

  • Stop Making Sense

    Stop Making Sense

    ★★★★★

    Anyway, I watched last night’s John Mulaney/David Byrne episode of SNL and I thought “I wonder if Stop Making Sense is streaming anywhere.” I assumed it wasn’t, but guess what: it’s on Prime right now! You can watch it instead of whatever else you were going to watch! How lucky are we??

    One complaint: During “Heaven,” (the version of which they play here is, in my opinion, superior to the otherwise very good studio version) the closed captioning notes the…