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  • Uncut Gems

    Uncut Gems

    ★★★★★

    This movie is incredible. Radiates with Big Sandler Energy. I was glad it was raining, because I had my umbrella which have me something to squeeze to death for two straight hours to release the tension. Move over, Ten Commandments; there’s a new best Passover movie ever.

  • Joker

    Joker

    ★½

    Todd Phillips, who directed, produced, and co-wrote the film with Scott Silver, clearly understands the plots of these Scorsese movies, but not their souls. Joker isn’t a film about a misanthrope, it is a misanthropic movie. While there are vague notions of political subtext in the citizens of Gotham City — who are denounced as “clowns” by wealthy businessman Thomas Wayne (Brett Cullen) and then embrace the insult, deplorables-style, and begin wearing clown masks as they protest in the streets…

  • Screwball

    Screwball

    ★★★½

    Billy Corben excels at particular type of documentary: Heavy on storytelling, focused on eccentric characters, rooted in Florida Man lunacy, and drowning in drugs. So the story of the Biogenesis steroid scandal is as in his wheelhouse as an 87 mile an hour fastball is in A-Rod’s. The conceit of using children to play the subjects in re-enactments is very funny — and certainly true to their behavior.

  • Memory: The Origins of Alien

    Memory: The Origins of Alien

    ★★½

    The project of the new documentary Memory: The Origins of Alien is a bit like the Nostromo’s mission, minus the aliens eating everyone: It exhumes this ancient site in an attempt to learn these forgotten secrets about this creature and bring them back to our society. As moviemaking documentaries go, it’s a little uneven — it’s not even the best doc about the making of Alien. But at times it did make my chest burst with warm feelings for a time not that long ago, when this kind of making-of film was much more common.

    Full review at ScreenCrush.

  • Jack of all Trades

    Jack of all Trades

    ★★★

    These filmmakers had two interconnected topics — the rise and fall of baseball cards as a speculative hobby, and the co-director’s father, who walked out on his family two weeks after the director’s bar mitzvah and never returned.

    Those are too big, meaty topics. Each could sustain their own feature. Because the two subjects are conflated in director Stu Stone’s mind — because his father was one of Canada’s biggest baseball card retailers before he sold the business and vanished — he…

  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★★★

    This may not be the true end of the road for Scorsese and De Niro, who’ve worked together since 1973, but either way that is what The Irishman is about: Their passage through this world and the sad fate that awaits all of us, saints and sinners alike, when we reach our final destination.

    Full review at ScreenCrush.

  • Casino

    Casino

    ★★★★

    My main takeaway from this viewing of Casino is in the title; it’s not “The Casino” or “Tangiers” or “Ace and Nicky.” It’s just Casino. Vegas, the mob, the massive grift, it’s all a microcosm for life. 

    The key sequence is early in the picture, where Ace details how a billionaire took his casino for millions and they engineer a scheme to get him back in the building by faking a broken plane. “In the casino,” De Niro says in voiceover…

  • Toy Story 4

    Toy Story 4

    ★★★½

    Big fan of this franchise’s continuing commitment to horrifying and emotionally devastating adults through the medium of folksy children’s entertainment. Toy Story: Making adults recognize the fleeting nature of mortality and the meaninglessness of existence since 1995!

  • Suicide Squad

    Suicide Squad

    I watched the “Extended Cut” this time, which makes the catastrophic mistake of thinking the way to fix this movie is to make it longer. Spoiler alert: It didn’t work!

    I had a phase in my 20s where I got really into the original Suicide Squad comic. Back in the early 2000s, these books were super cheap, and between dollar bins at conventions and eBay lots I got most of John Ostrander’s run. It’s a great, dark, bleak series. The film…

  • The Addams Family

    The Addams Family

    ★★★½

    This might not be as good as the pinball game it inspired, but it’s still very solid. Christina Ricci became a star on the basis of the movie, and rightfully so, but I don’t think I appreciated how funny and weird Christopher Lloyd is as Fester/Gordon. I’m not sure I even realized that was Doc Brown until the sequel came out.

  • John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

    John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

    ★★★★½

    “Sofia, don’t.”
    “He shot my dog.”
    “I get it.”

    I want Sofia’s dogs, and Cliff Booth’s dog to form a Doggie Avengers team. The Dogvengers, basically. The dog from The Art of Racing in the Rain can be like the Nick Fury.

    Sorry; Nick Furry.

  • Circus of Horrors

    Circus of Horrors

    ★★

    Seen with live Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffing!!! It was so funny! The ending was extremely silly!