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  • American Beauty

    American Beauty

    ★★★★

    This is a movie I saw when I was 18 that had a huge impact on my movie-loving mind.  I thought it was well-written, brilliantly acted, and directed with assurance.  Upon initial viewings, where it suffers is when it becomes too heavy-handed and aware of itself with some of the dialogue.  I still think this is Spacey’s best performance, and the rest of the cast puts in great work.  
              The symbolism is pronounced throughout, with the red theme preceding the…

  • Radio On

    Radio On

    ★½

    Painfully self-indulgent road movie has stellar black-and-white photography, a great soundtrack, and not much else.  Takes pages out of Wenders’ and Antonioni’s catalogues, but doesn’t possess the underlying poetry that the works of those two masters exuded effortlessly.  Shots go on for way too long, and I kept asking myself what are each of these exercises in patience accomplishing.  I can take a methodically-paced film if it has an interesting storyline and offbeat characters along the way (e.g. Jarmusch, Godard),…

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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…