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  • Uncut Gems

    Uncut Gems

    ★★★★½

    My friend told me to tightly swaddle in a blanket before pressing play and they were right. Even knowing the plot, I might have clawed my arms to pieces. Sandler, as Howard, is despicable and compulsively watchable, as is everyone else in the cast, including Tilda’s voice cameo. Brilliant.

  • The Scarlet Empress

    The Scarlet Empress

    ★★★★

    Loved seeing this familiar story in a semi-ahistorical setting.  Expressionist sets, aggressively glamorous lighting, and just the right amount of camp. I could watch Dietrich *not* blow out a candle for hours.

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  • Before Night Falls

    Before Night Falls

    ★★★★★

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

    A old friend of mine surprised me with a day trip to see this in the only theatre within 100 miles playing it. It was then, and remains now, astonishing. There are images that have remained frozen in my mind, all these years later. It’s not perfect - and some casting choices are super-problematic - but it remains one of the single best adaptations I’ve ever seen in terms of capturing the unique tone and cadence of a writer’s words.…

  • Paths of Glory

    Paths of Glory

    ★★★★★

    A golden boot, a guilded chair. Lambs leading lions everywhere. When people say they hate black and white movies, I point them here. Easily my favorite Kubrick, easily the best Kirk Douglas performance ever.