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  • The Intruder

    The Intruder

    ★★★★★

    Claire Denis’ L’Intrus was a foundational film for me. It wasn’t the first of her films that I saw, but it was the one that really pulled me into an intense long-term relationship for her work. When I first saw it 15+ years ago, I thought it was one of the most stunning, enigmatic, alluring films I had ever seen. I recently watched Metrograph’s HD release and I felt the same way. It is my favorite Claire Denis film and…

  • To the Wonder

    To the Wonder

    ★★★★★

    In a special feature on the blu-ray, Kurylenko says that Malick had her read The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot, and Anna Karenina to prepare for the role. Paying attention to possible connections with the Russian classics (which I read two decades ago and am slightly foggy on) was illuminating, though I’m far from having a clear sense of what the connection is. I noticed this time how pronounced the throughline is of her relationship with Affleck’s character being considered adultery by…

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  • Under Siege

    Under Siege

    ★★★★

    Because Seagal’s latter day output fell off so much harder than the rest of his action stat cohort, I got it in my head that his earlier movies weren’t as good either. But going back to this and Marked for Death has shown me that my memory was playing tricks on me. Now I’m going to have to give Hard to Kill and Out for Justice a spin. Above the Law has Pam Grier and Henry Silva in it??? Shit, I did not remember that.

  • Wolves

    Wolves

    ★★★

    I realized at some point they I have actually seen this before. The fact that I selected this twice does not speak well of me, but I can’t resist bad werewolf CGI as long as the werewolves walk on two legs.

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  • Lady in the Water

    Lady in the Water

    ★★★★★

    Even better than I remembered it. The nature of a bedtime story is to make it up as you go along, piecing together an ad hoc mythology that generates continuous conflict while enabling the desired conclusion. Shyamalan builds this methodology into the structure of the film, as an antidote to the postmodern death of originality bemoaned by Bob Balaban’s grumpy critic. The meta-fictional level and the first order narrative work seemlessly together. The result is by turns hilarious, moving, suspenseful, and exhilarating in its unbridled creativity. Giamatti is incredible, as is the entire supporting cast.

  • Manhunter

    Manhunter

    ★★★★★

    You are an ant in the afterbirth. It is in your nature to do one thing correctly: tremble.