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  • Free Spirits

    Free Spirits

    ★★★½

    Incredibly entertaining ESPN documentary about the St. Louis Spirits of the American Basketball Association, that high-flying league of the 1970s that provided more entertainment than the corporatized NBA of later years ever dreamed of doing.

  • Who Took Johnny

    Who Took Johnny

    ★★★★

    Excellent but horrifying documentary about an early 80s Iowa kidnapping that changed the culture of policing around child abduction as it exposed networks of depravity that benefited from systemic indifference for decades.

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  • Straight Time

    Straight Time

    ★★★★

    Wow, how is this gem not discussed more often in conversations about Dustin Hoffman's work of the 1970s? Great character piece has Hoffman as an ex-con, just out after six years in the hoosegow, trying to integrate himself back into the day-to-day, and spiraling downward as the obvious limitations on his opportunity reveal themselves one by one.

  • Django Unchained

    Django Unchained

    ★★½

    As always, I paid to go see Quentin Tarantino's latest release. As always, there were long stretches of film narrative that had me engaged, and characters that had me interested. And as always, I walked away feeling ambivalent because of the irresponsible way he depicts violence: as both an occasion for celebratory evisceration and a gravely comic misrepresentation of what real violence is like. As I anticipated (see michaelborshuk.blogspot.com/2012/08/notes-on-popular-culture-quentin.html) I was particularly irked by the way that QT depicts graphic…