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  • Purple Rain

    Purple Rain

    ★★★★★

    I honestly thought that he would live forever.

    Re-reading my previous review, I realize now how flippant I was. Arguing with straw men is a losing proposition, and in refuting the wholly fictitious arguments against this film I was inadvertently giving those arguments credence. There's no value in explaining what this film is not; Prince's entire ethos was predicated on the fundamental precept of I AM. THIS IS ME. I HAVE WILLED MYSELF INTO EXISTENCE AND I WILL BEG NO…

  • Green Room

    Green Room

    ★★★½

    Captain Picard as a Nazi? Yep, I can buy that.

    Imogen Poots as a skinbyrd avenging angel? Sure.

    A $350 guarantee to be third on the bill of a matinee show in the middle of nowhere? BEYOND THE LIMITS OF PLAUSIBILITY.

    (Actually, the movie gets a ton of things right about punk/skinhead/DIY touring culture, but I found that part to be hilarious.)

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  • Before Sunset

    Before Sunset

    ★★★★★

    There's a moment about halfway through Before Sunset that I can't get out of my mind. Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) are sitting in a Parisian café, and she lights up a cigarette. He's got the demeanor of a man who has quit smoking against his will (probably at the behest of a significant other, whom I'm guessing broke his spirit with the subtlest "I just want you to be healthy" psychological warfare imaginable), so he steals a…

  • A Separation

    A Separation

    ★★★★★

    A few years ago I was talking to a friend who had just seen David Gordon Green's "All the Real Girls." My friend isn't much of a film buff, but he knew that he'd seen something special. When I asked what he liked most about it, he didn't say anything about the acting or the direction or nuances of the plot. Instead, he simply said "because that stuff really happened."

    Of course, my friend was not speaking literally. Instead, I…