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  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    ★★★½

    If this is Tarantino's final feature not based on an existing IP, it's fitting that it's also the most Tarantino movie while also somewhat being the least. I get the sense that this is 1000% the movie he set out to make, overflowing as it does with references obscure and not, depending on the reference- and the viewer. The recreations are phenomenal and painstaking; I assume most of the signs and props were vintage. Tarantino is living the dream of…

  • The Rider

    The Rider

    ★★★

    Went into this one cold; didn't realize the extent to which it is based on a true story. Took me a while to warm up. At various points during the first 45 minutes or so, I came close to giving up. In addition to feeling too narratively and formally film school-y, the thought of spending cinematic time with these likely MAGA choads right after the mass shooting(s, in this case) of the week made me deeply uneasy, compounded by the…

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  • The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

    The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

    ★★★★

    The philistine fascist will never fall out of fashion. Who knew the hottest cinematic take on the Trump administration would arrive 30 years early? Right down to a throwaway line about Albert wanting to redo the restaurant in gold.

    That said, Melania is no Georgina, though I do hope there's a truck of rotting pig meat in her future.

  • Moonstruck

    Moonstruck

    ★★★★½

    Didn't expect to be completely and utterly charmed by Moonstruck, but there you go! The script, cast, and direction work perfectly. So many great lines.

    Very sad realization that a movie like this (despite being *relatively* modern) would never be greenlit today with a 40 year old actress. Or if it was made, her age would be the focal point of the movie and played for laughs. This one is sincere, sweet, funny, and lets Loretta be an incredibly complex character. The ending is admittedly a copout but fits with the tone of the movie and the theme of belief in fate/superstition running (ruining?) our lives.