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  • A Bigger Splash

    A Bigger Splash

    ★★★★

    A rock star on vocal rest post-surgery and her filmmaker boyfriend are vacationing in a remote Italian island when the former's manager/producer/ex-lover and his daughter come in to cause some ruckus. I did an awards thing about a month ago. I was unable to see this in time but if I did, I would probably have nominated Ralph Fiennes who was incredible in this and a standout (and the rest of the cast is also similarly great). This is an…

  • Take the Money and Run

    Take the Money and Run

    ★★★½

    This is Woody Allen's first directorial effort. It's a mockumentary of sorts about a very unlikely career criminal played by...well, Woody Allen in full Woody Allen mode. This film is episodic in nature and the scenes and the gags are hit and miss. But one can see his distinctive style and his humor all throughout the piece and his potential for greatness. Again, some gags are better than others. A highlight is the scene where he attempts to rob a bank using a note with unintelligible handwriting. That scene was truly hilarious. That scene alone makes this worth watching to anyone other than Woody Allen completists.

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  • Crumb

    Crumb

    ★★★★½

    An endlessly fascinating documentary on controversial cartoonist/comic book artist/satirist Robert Crumb. We get a peek into his life, his work and his family (among his brothers, as it turns out, HE'S the normal one.) You need not be a fan or even be familiar with his work to be fascinated by this remarkable documentary. It gets kind of personal, uncomfortable, shocking and sometimes really funny. Terry Zwigoff creates a fascinating document of a truly remarkable and unique artist. It must be seen by anyone even remotely interested in art.

  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★★★★

    Whoah. This is an intense, exhilarating (just like the blurb in the posters say) film. An ambitious young jazz drummer gets tormented both physically, psychologically and emotionally by a brutal teacher who pushes him beyond his limits in order to realize his full potential and achieve greatness. What follows is not an emotional, feel-good inspiring tale (well, not-so-much) but a brutally honest examination of what it means to achieve one's ambitions. The buzz around JK Simmons' performance is well-earned, IMO…