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  • Lawrence of Arabia

    Lawrence of Arabia

    ★★★★★

    Impeccably shot character study within the framework of an epic adventure story also has a brilliant screenplay and memorable performances, especially from O’Toole in the titular role.  The anatomy and trajectory of his character arc is complex, and he handles it with masterful ease, never coming across as theatrical.  
              The scene where he demands the lemonade for his friend and himself in the British Officers’ Bar is still one of the most resonant condemnations of racism and white supremacy hiding…

  • Thief

    Thief

    ★★★★

    As soon as Tangerine Dream’s moody synth score comes in, and the camera moves slowly across the neon-lit Chicago streets, it is clear we are watching a Michael Mann film.  His attention to atmosphere has made him one of the most impressive directors in the last 35 years, even if some of his later efforts were hit or miss.  
           The lighting and cinematography in this are consistently amazing, with strong editing and art direction.  
           Gritty, stylish, cool heist film that…

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  • Ready Player One

    Ready Player One

    ★★★★

    Second time around, I still had a blast, the opening 45 minutes to an hour are pure dynamite for the senses.  It’s hard not to be in awe of Spielberg’s craftsmanship, especially during that first race scene.  It’s so phenomenally filmed and edited, it makes you wonder what our future will hold in the entertainment department. 
            It was fun re-watching, knowing what was coming, because it freed up the viewer to find the Easter Eggs we’d missed the first time…

  • Avengers: Infinity War

    Avengers: Infinity War

    ★★★★

    Epic spectacle on the grandest scale imaginable.  Effortlessly interweaves from location to location, and from hero to hero, slowing down a bit here and there with overlong expositional scenes, but filled with eye-popping art direction (there were 15 art directors who worked on this film) and staggering special effects.  
           This was the most effective of the three Avengers movies at incorporating humor into the narrative, never seeming superfluous, but more naturally occurring in the moment due to the flow of…