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  • The Grissom Gang

    The Grissom Gang

    ★★★½

    Enough character actors for a drinking game.

    Kim Darby goes out to the edge.

    Tennessee Williams meets Bonnie and Clyde meets Prohibition meets James Hadley Chase British noir meets Robert Aldrich meets Robert Altman. A glorious train wreck.

    Batman set designers called in to do honeymoon suite for Slim and Barbara.

    Lots of sweat.

    Kino Blu-ray.

  • The Christmas Chronicles

    The Christmas Chronicles

    ★★★★

    A rocking good time. And let's face it Kurt Russell was born to play Santa Claus--even if I had never thought of that until now.

    Borrows from a couple of Christmas movies to fill in some gaps (ONE MAGIC CHRISTMAS in particular deserves a credit), but makes up for it with the best-ever explanation of how Santa (a) gets all the presents into his bag, and (b) how he covers the entire planet in one night.

    Netflix.

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  • Jaws

    Jaws

    ★★★★★

    Anytime, anywhere. For my money, Spielberg made 5 perfect films, and this one is at the top. Not a wasted shot, pitch perfect casting, pitch perfect dialogue. No sentimental hokum, and a Mamet ending.

    I find when talking to others that the legacy of this film (in terms of "inventing the summer blockbuster," "shark movie," etc.) tends to overshadow what a finely crafted thriller it, so much so that it I think it might be called one of the few "creature" films of the 1970s with an auteur stamp.

  • Baby Driver

    Baby Driver

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Solidly entertaining big summer fun movie. Fast cars, great editing, and some truly inspired sequences. Ansel Elgort single-handedly brings back the Joe Don Baker-style southern mumble. And any film that kicks off the action with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion has my admiration.

    When thinking about it later, however, I was surprised at how poorly the characters held up under scrutiny. Like, not at all. The brilliant setup in the first half hour is worthy of five stars, on every level,…