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  • The Departed

    The Departed

    ★★★½

    Look, I do enjoy the heck out of this movie. It's incredibly fun to watch, with flashes of classic Scorsese brilliance, but it's an absolute mess. The editing is sloppy, with characters smoking in one scene and not in the next and calling back to conversations that never happened. The performances and story are all over the place, and even the music -- normally a reliable touchstone in Scorsese films -- is disappointing. (I'm thinking specifically of the part where…

  • Over the Top

    Over the Top

    ★★★

    There I was, a Tuesday night, with a little more wine than is probably recommended, looking for something to watch. I stumbled across this Stallone vehicle (get it?) and realized I had never seen it. I put it on expecting a laughable and silly action movie, but it has so much more heart and charm than I could have imagined. The music is corny and the acting is more than a little silly, but I found myself genuinely enjoying every…

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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…

  • The Dead Zone

    The Dead Zone

    ★★★½

    Hoop-Tober 3.0

    A terrifying look at the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency.

    OK but really, this is a terrific little movie. I've been reading a lot of King lately, semi-chronologically, but I actually skipped this novel and jumped to IT this month. Which is a shame because my favorite thing about this film is how it attempts to detail just how this gift/curse affects Johnny Smith's (Walken) life. It's the kind of thing King does very well -- digging…