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  • The Big Lebowski

    The Big Lebowski

    ★★★★★

    Daxson's first watch! So much fun.

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★★

    Watched it with my family. Cried again, in spite of all the plot-question-asking going on. And the Sapir-Whorf stuff sat better with me on a closer watch; it wasn't stated so strongly as to make it problematic. Although, of course, in another way it's stated more strongly than even the theory itself, but that's the fun part.

  • 8½

    ★★★★★

    A new thing I noticed: Guido's response to Claudia toward the end, "Why do you smile that way?" was a reflection of a moment early in the film when the French actress asked him, "Why do you look at me that way?"

  • Star Trek: First Contact

    Star Trek: First Contact

    ★★★★½

    You'd think there was nothing left for this show to say with a time-travel-back-to-Earth plot, but this is by far the best of them in the franchise. And how I love Picard. It wasn't as big of a gap as between TOS and TMP, but there was some of the same thrill in seeing the TNG crew together again.

    What a great supporting cast. Cromwell was perfect, and Woodard delivered a strong foil to Picard where you wouldn't have thought one was needed.

    One of the most satisfying Star Trek endings.

  • The Cabin in the Woods

    The Cabin in the Woods

    ★★★★½

    Pure delight. It puts the terror where it belongs.

  • Madea's Family Reunion

    Madea's Family Reunion

    ★★★½

    Beautiful storytelling.

  • Drag Me to Hell

    Drag Me to Hell

    ★★★★

    Fun; disgusting; creative. Those of you who feel so clever and dismissive at having guessed the ending: you missed the point.

  • The Wave

    The Wave

    ★★★★

    Subtle and artful, especially compared to most disaster movies.

  • Perfect Sisters

    Perfect Sisters

    ★★★

    Genuinely sad and not as terrible as I'd expected.

  • Harold and Maude

    Harold and Maude

    ★★★★★

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

    Infinitely rewatchable. I cry every time.

  • Moana

    Moana

    ★★★★½

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

    Standard Disney story format, but as with all of them, there's something more to this one. The animation had something to do with it, as well as the oneiric story-telling style (which gave it an effect that reminded me in places of Adventure Time, especially during the setup, and the reveal of Clement's excellent character). More than that, though, was its attention to the modern identity conflict that most of us feel along one vector or another. (Island or ocean?…

  • True Grit

    True Grit

    ★★★★½

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

    Such a good example of being true to genre while addressing its innate problems. And they were addressed so sympathetically and thoroughly. And unexpectedly, which is why I'm marking this as a spoiler; the film would have functioned brilliantly without the post-revenge reckoning. With it, it transcended its roots.