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  • Bambi

    Bambi

    ★★★★½

    “Your mother can't be with you anymore. Come, my son.”

    One of Disney’s greatest achievements, Bambi is among the wisest and most profound animated films ever made. It clearly heavily influenced later animated classics like The Lion King, The Land Before Time, and—yes—Brother Bear. However, whereas those films veer in to sentimental speechifying and overt spiritualizing, what makes Bambi so uniquely compelling is its ineffable qualities—how little it explains, and how much it barely and tantalizingly suggests.*

    *In particular, I…

  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

    ★★★★½

    “He also had a condition that was referred to as ‘granulated eyelids’ and it caused him to blink more than usual, as if he found creation slightly more than he could accept.”

    “You think it's all made up don't ya? You think it's all yarns and newspaper stories.”
    “He’s just a human being.”

    A combination of Days of Heaven in its poetic narration and plaintive pacing and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance in its deconstruction of the mythos of…

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  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★★★½

    “This is not going to go the way you think.”

    Indeed. Rian Johnson’s study of Star Wars—it’s more helpful to view all post-Lucas installments as an anthology of essays from his scholars, with varying aims and interpretations, rather than embracing or rejecting them by “What Would George Do?”—The Last Jedi is challenging and cheeky, ingenious and incendiary, unlike any Star Wars, or really any movie, I’ve ever seen. I had high expectations. But this is not at all what I…

  • The Incredibles

    The Incredibles

    ★★★★★

    “Ya see that? That's the way to do it. That's old school.”
    “Yeah. No school like the old school.”

    This—THIS is how you make a superhero movie, folks! This is how you make a family film, an animated film, a genre mashup. This is how you write a script. This is how you stage action. This is how you get people to leave the theater energized and giddy with big smiles on their faces. This is how you make something…