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  • The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch

    ★★★★

    Sam Peckinpah’s blood-drenched Western masterpiece sent shock-waves through critics and audiences in 1969, introducing a never-before-seen level of realistic violence into the quintessential American film genre. The Wild Bunch also features a memorable cast of characters played perfectly by a tried-and-true cast of grizzled acting veterans. It tells the story of encroaching civilization closing in around an aging band of outlaws, whose considerable skills and smarts may not be enough to keep them prosperous (or alive) anymore. This is a true classic, as the consistent acclaim it has received across some 45 years aptly demonstrates.

  • Bullitt

    Bullitt

    ★★½

    If you know Bullitt, it’s likely because it is credited with showcasing the first “modern” car chase scene in movie history, an action-packed 11-minute thrill ride through the streets of San Francisco. This scene is vastly superior to anything else going on in the movie, which unfolds sedately by modern standards. The plot is serviceable, and Steve McQueen is super-cool as the title character, even if his character is something of a massive cliche. Watching a movie like Bullitt now…

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  • Dinosaur

    Dinosaur

    ★½

    The original plan for Dinosaur was to make it without any dialogue, a bold and innovative idea that was apparently not marketable enough for nervous Disney executives. The film opens with a stunning sequence that seamlessly combines gorgeous live-action backdrops with computer-generated dinosaur characters set to a pulse-pounding orchestral score. Then the characters start talking and the magic abruptly departs, replaced with a predictable plot and a distinct lack of thrills.

  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

    The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

    ★★★★½

    This is technically a “package” film, composed of 3 previously-released segments all featuring A.A. Milne’s beloved characters, but it all hangs together so naturally that one would never really think of it that way. Certainly none of the package films of the ’40s have anything resembling the charm of Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Eeyore, Owl, Tigger, and the rest. If this movie has a flaw, it’s in being too short, and watching it is very much like curling up under a fuzzy blanket.