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  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    ★★

    The section of the film where the talking heads are talking about the importance of silence in Mr. Rogers' work is Exhibit A of why this is a bad movie.

  • The Terminal

    The Terminal

    ★★

    The friction between Spielberg as entertainer and Spielberg as artist. The opening sequences are frequently devastating as they conjure up a nightmare scenario, your country is in the midst of war and "America is closed." The airport manifests itself as a series of brands, structures and ridiculous rules that act as a trap, a prison. Spielberg delivers these dystopian visions so effectively that when all the side characters are introduced it feels like a betrayal - one Spielberg working against…

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  • Lu Over the Wall

    Lu Over the Wall

    ★★★

    There's a moment in this film, when Lu's dad realizes that she is in danger, where the tone of the film switches completely, the animation becomes ferocious in depicting the violence and desperation of the father to reach Lu. In what's ostensibly a pretty childish film, Yuasa never forgets the pain of death and of violence. Merfolk do present a threat, a strange vampiric element that remains an Other, but one that needs to be understood - the connection between…

  • Overboard

    Overboard

    ★★★

    Eugenio Derbez and Anna Faris are very gifted comedic performers, but each seems hamstrung by the particulars of the scenario. There's so much heavy lifting and plotting required to even get them together that it seems like the entire project is doomed from the start. And yet. There's a very interesting specificity to the film's characters and their settings (everyone is obsessed with the Seahawks) that's charming, and the extended scenes with the Latin American construction workers are a delight…