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  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★★★

    One of the messiest STAR WARS films since RETURN OF THE JEDI, but also one of the most emotionally resonant films since EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, THE LAST JEDI is a satisfying pick'n'mix of solid old ideas repurposed from previous franchise movies, novels, games and comic books and then stacked up against exciting new ideas that feel like an honest evolution of the universe.

    To me, just like in THE FORCE AWAKENS, the flaws are in the director who doesn't command…

  • Cotton Comes to Harlem

    Cotton Comes to Harlem

    ★★★

    An entry from a gritty series of hard-boiled noir novels about a pair of black detectives, adapted into a tongue-in-cheek action comedy that is also an early model for the Blaxploitation genre, directed by a famed character actor and close friend of Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X, that puts satirical depictions of African American cultural tropes ahead of telling a detective story. Complicated certainly doesn't cut it as a descriptor, but the film itself is simple as a…

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  • Back to the Future

    Back to the Future

    ★★★★★

    Perfection is a term that you have to be careful with before you dare to throw it around. It implies a kind of unique, finely-tuned, high-water mark that could almost not be exceeded without significantly altering the thing that is perfect to begin with. Perfection is also timeless, something that doesn't date unless it actually gets better with age. Perfection is hard to come by...but perfection is the seminal 1980's growing-up/time-travel/sci-fi/comedy extravaganza: BACK TO THE FUTURE. Like lightning that is…

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    ★★★★★

    While I can totally concede that this film stands completely on the shoulders of the original movie (at times being a near shot-for-shot remake) and its self-indulgent running time of almost 3 hours can give the impression that this is a blockbuster-sized adaptation on steroids, it goes without saying that this is still David Fincher's greatest achievement since his seminal FIGHT CLUB and his most beautiful work since SE7EN. Facts alone, with all remake-politics aside, that make this a worthwhile…