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  • Fallen Angels

    Fallen Angels

    ★★★½

    Dark side extension of Kar-Wai's sweet and quirky Chungking Express — this is melancholic and quirky. The fallen angels are a combination of killers and kooks moving around a sparsely populated Hong Kong of neon and night. Their movements are like rituals devoid of meaning. They yearn for connection but fear intimacy, and none of them can talk about it except in voiceover monologue. It would be enervating without Kar-wai and cinematogropher Chris Doyle's exquisite wide-angled imagery smeared at various…

  • Underworld

    Underworld

    ★★★★

    Interesting to watch an early gangster movie unvarnished by Warner Brothers' social commentary. No doubt Von Sternberg's film is foundational in establishing the public's fascination with the extravagance and panache of the gangster lifestyle. Gangsters may be thieves and killers, but the film constructs a clear division between the noble Bull Weed (George Bancroft) and the vicious Buck Mulligan (Frank Kohler). Bull is the kind of guy who will throw a few dollars at a beggar on the way out…

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  • Foreign Correspondent

    Foreign Correspondent

    ★★★★

    With David O Selznick off his back, Hitchcock revels in the Hollywood playground and produces his first blockbuster. It's also, arguably, his most typical adventure thriller until North by Northwest (which is, in some ways, a rehash of this film). It lacks the psychological complexities of Hitchcock's best films (including Rebecca), and even though WWII is on the doorstep, it's less pressing a propaganda piece than The Lady Vanishes, for example, apart from the earnest (and pretty terrific) tacked on…

  • Man's Favorite Sport?

    Man's Favorite Sport?

    ★★★★½

    Paula Prentiss's Abigail is so consumed by Rock Hudson's Roger Willoughby — a fraud but also a sweet, gentle soul — she goes a little nuts. She can't leave him alone, which causes Roger no amount of grief, but it also leads him to become the best version of himself. In other words, she makes an honest man out of him. This is Howard Hawks's most extreme statement concerning the battle of the sexes. At one point, Easy (Maria Perschy),…