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  • Hopscotch

    Hopscotch

    Walter Matthau is at his most likable and the movie has an amiable shaggy-dog-story vibe. And then in literally the LAST SCENE, Matthau does brownface as a Sikh for no good reason and I had to think, "Hey, read the room, movie from 1980!"

    TCM's print was fairly soft looking--does the Criterion Blu-ray look this unimpressive?--and the color scheme tends toward browns and, for variety, off-browns. Man, that era could get pretty ugly. (Don't get me started on the wallpaper!)

  • Manos: The Hands of Fate

    Manos: The Hands of Fate

    I find "Manos" weirdly charming in a way I can't quite explain.

    Still, when I checked the timer and realized there was half an hour left, it was distressing (and the movie is only around 65 minutes!).

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  • Scanners

    Scanners

    ★★★★

    I wish I could have been with an audience on this movie's premiere just to see the reaction when the first head exploded. I can only imagine the bedlam that must have erupted.

    Strong script, tautly directed. Patrick McGoohan is a joy to watch, as usual (I'm a huge fan of "The Prisoner"). Stephen Lack is a stiff, but sometimes he makes the lack of affect work for him. Other times, he just looks extremely constipated. Painfully, perhaps lethally constipated, especially while he's scanning.

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    ★★★★★

    I first saw this as a teenager in the late '70s on a reissue, in a theater with a very large screen (though I can't honestly remember if it was 35MM or 70MM). I had already read the book (and even the "Making of 2001" book), and I loved it. Can't say I always "got" it, but I knew it was an overwhelming work of art.

    I've seen it on video numerous times since then, letterboxed but, c'mon, you need…