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  • Searching for Sugar Man

    Searching for Sugar Man

    ★★

    For whatever reason, disappointment in learning thay a documentary is lying to you is seen as personal preference -- unsophisticated personal preference, even, supposedly the sign of someone who doesn't understand what documentaries are all about. (Insert Herzog quote about phone books here.) But there is a difference between arranging facts to reveal a deeper truth, and omitting facts because they're inconvenient to the narrative you want to tell.

    Rodriguez was not missing until he was discovered a few years…

  • Sophie's Choice

    Sophie's Choice

    ★★★

    Random notes after a rewatch:

    Streep is sublime, even when she's acting like Sandy Dennis.

    Kline plays very nearly the same character in FISH CALLED WANDA. If this is the only way you can win an Oscar for a comedic role, then Brando should have been nommed for THE FRESHMAN, dammit.

    I lost a lot of my love for Peter MacNicol after watching this.

    One of these days I'll figure out why men have to filter the story of a…

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  • A Night in Heaven

    A Night in Heaven

    ★★

    Somewhere buried underneath this ungodly disaster of a film is the story of a couple of aging hippies struggling to find their place in a culture that no longer has any use for them. Whitney (Robert Logan) is a talented engineer at NASA who just wants to build rockets to explore space, but in the era of Reagan, only the military has any interest in his skills. As goofy as those opening credits look, where Bryan Adams sings "Heaven" as…

  • Murder at the Vanities

    Murder at the Vanities

    ★½

    We pre-Code film fans, as a group, really need to stop going ga-ga over any movie with moderately salacious content. The days of having only a couple dozen pre-Codes to fawn over are long gone, and we can afford to bypass films like MURDER AT THE VANITIES, with only tepid naughtiness to balance out the complete ineptitude.

    Sure, MATV is offensive; it's a pre-Code from 1934, it's practically required to be offensive. It's notable, however, for being one of the…