star ratings:
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4 - Must see
3 - Worth seeing
2 - Has redeeming facets
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  • On the Rocks

    On the Rocks


    Watched at home via Amazon digital rental with my partner.

    I've seen shorts by this filmmaking duo, and a friend recommended this feature by them. It's one of the strongest ultra-low budget comedies I've seen in a long while. The satire is savage. The editing is really inventive and strong, playing along with the strength of the performances that makes it feel like a force of nature work. Really strong, even when it's familiar.

  • The Steel Helmet

    The Steel Helmet


    Watched at home alone via Criterion Channel.

    This is a film that was great when it came out, but today it requires an understanding of the context of its release and why it's such a landmark. So many aspects are dated, and the budget constraints show in sometimes embarrassing ways, but it's still the first film about the Korean War (while it was being fought). It's also a rare film that acknowledges institutional racism in the US and its army. It actually owns up to Japanese internment, in 1951! That it exists is kind of extraordinary.