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  • Hillbilly Elegy

    Hillbilly Elegy

    ★★½

    I guess the good news is that by really making it the story of a family rather than an ivory tower 'splainin (TM), Hillbilly Elegy comes of as a lot less mean and condescending than the highly problematic book. The bad news is that the film doesn't really make the story of said family particularly engaging, with a weird time-skipping plot and clichés a plenty. This movie exists to win Close and Adams Oscars and while their performances are good,…

  • Rear Window

    Rear Window

    ★★★★½

    This one is a slow burner- the first forty minutes may seem kind of aimless on the surface, but all the little details slowly world-build a shadowy land of deceit. By the time the plot proper kicks in, it's all the more fun to go along the ride. The integrated set is a marvel and wonderfully midcentury, hinting at a world both before, during, and after urban decay. Each long pan suggests the simultaneity of life and both important and…

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  • Blue Velvet

    Blue Velvet

    ★★★★½

    Motion. Motion as violence and/or chaos. That's what I picked up on this watch- all of the action that draws characters deeper into the underbelly of Lumberton involved quick, violent motions and physical violence. Action disturbs the tranquil surface. Lynch did a really great job capturing and using motion for this purpose.

    This is a really great film overall. Dennis Hopper is just on another level of deranged and gives an all time performance. Only reservation is I don't think…

  • Alien

    Alien

    ★★★★★

    Take 2001 and/or Star Wars and shoot 'em out the airlock, THIS my friends is the true building block upon which all contemporary sci-fi cinema (and basically any video game with sci-fi elements for that matter) is based and I will hear no counterarguments. "Watching Alien" should be on those activity charts where it tells you how many calories you burn jogging and stuff, because I can't think of a film with more start-to-finish tension. What an achievement.