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  • Molly's Game

    Molly's Game

    ★★★½

    Two competing narratives almost sink a movie that should have focused on one or the other.

    Aaron Sorkin writes complicated, debatable men who have big arguments with other complicated, debatable men, but his first female protagonist, while arguably complex, mostly has arguments with extremely debatable men (and one decent one) over her basic right to dignity and personhood.

    Everything about this movie pretty much works, and Jessica Chastain elevates it a lot, but it's not the exciting material I hoped…

  • The Making of 'Star Wars'

    The Making of 'Star Wars'

    ★★★½

    This but reliably entertaining, this mostly fascinated me due to its status as an early Making Of, and an early piece of media About Star Wars, one that uses filmmaking conventions informed by TV documentaries of the time moreso than anything we associate with the "Star Wars Aesthetic."

    ...It's fascinating to think about the fact that the Star Wars Aesthetic didn't really exist yet. Or, that if it did, it had a lot more to do with disco.

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  • What We Do in the Shadows

    What We Do in the Shadows

    ★★★★

    "Yeah, some of our clothes are from victims. You might bite someone and then, you think, 'Oooh, those are some nice pants!'"

  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★★★½

    Excellent, riveting film. Feels like Hitchcock made a Jazz Musician Psychological Drama, but slicker, wound even tighter, etc. Most intense movie theater experience of 2014 so far. Feels like a Best Picture Front-runner, to me anyway. Only con: Its early, sudden ending feels like a cop-out.