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  • West Side Story

    West Side Story

    ★★★½

    Viewed on the big screen as the final week of Midtown Art Cinema's series on New York set films. I was 50/50 on whether I'd seen this before but can safely say this was a first time watch. West Side Story starts with a bang when that blaring jazz score comes in and energetic editing takes us all over these gang's neighborhoods to introduce the characters and the setting. The sheer theatricality of their movements and the heightened artificiality let…

  • The Wrestler

    The Wrestler

    ★★★★

    Kind of embarrassingly my first Aronofsky and not the sort of film that leaves me eager to dig into the rest. Not because it's bad, in fact I liked it quite a bit, but because it was so hard to watch. The only thing I've seen semi-recently that gets as harrowing as this is Bergman's Cries and Whispers (in completely different ways). There's something primally sad about this mix of someone both chasing their former glory and confined to it…

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  • Booksmart

    Booksmart

    ★★★★★

    Booksmart is a film that has its cake and eats it too- a hilarious comedy with a sincere and effective dramatic core. It's nothing you haven't seen before (high school/coming of age/get to a party) but does it all so well that it feels totally fresh. It all starts with the humor and this is one of the funniest films in years, the end credits alone had me laughing more than many entire comedies. The wide range of supporting roles…

  • Beetlejuice

    Beetlejuice

    ★★★★

    Somehow never saw this and I'm not exactly a huge Burton fan so I didn't plan on seeking it out but I decided to catch a theatrical showing this morning. It's a whole lot better than I expected and such a refreshingly original film. High concept without overwhelming you with rules (the Maitlands can't be bothered to read them), there's a slow but effective world building going on as they gradually figure out the nature of their predicament.

    First they…