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  • Jiu Jitsu

    Jiu Jitsu

    ★★

    If the self-defense technique known as Jiu Jitsu is "the martial art of weaponless fighting employing holds, throws, and paralyzing blows to subdue or disable an opponent," then why is this comic book-inspired film so full of swords, knives, clubs, staffs, and shuriken? Really. Such dishonor to the Japanese samurai from whence it came, and even to the Brazilians who turned it into a sport. I must admit, seeing Nick Cage bowed and bloodied was almost worth the viewing, but…

  • Top of the Lake

    Top of the Lake

    ★★★★

    Film #2 of 30 in my March Around The World | 2021 Challenge (New Zealand)

    This was my ninth viewing of films directed by New Zealander Jane Champion, and I'm rating it her second best production after "Piano" (1993). To say this six-part, 350-minute crime drama reminded me of David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" (1990-91) would be a gross understatement. It is Lynchian for its isolated location, offbeat casting, bizarre mystery, twisted humor, and a flawed detective as the central character.…

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  • Mulholland Drive

    Mulholland Drive

    ★★★★½

    No hay banda! It's all a tape. Il n'est pas de orquestra. It is... an illusion! ~ Bondar at Club Silencio

    This magnificent movie will mess with your mind. Over a five-hour period on Saturday night, I watched this film carefully, read up about it on the Internet, and watched it again with frequent pauses and rewinds. I know I liked it. I think I get it. But one never knows for sure with David Lynch.

    SPOILER ALERT - SPOILER…

  • The Squid and the Whale

    The Squid and the Whale

    ★★★½

    Dad is a pretentious jerk. Mom is having serial affairs. Little brother is cursing like a sailor, masturbating at every opportunity and smearing his semen on library books. Older brother is plagiarizing Pink Floyd lyrics and passing them off as his own. But hey, it's Brooklyn in the 1980s. The solution, of course, is for the parents to divorce and arrange for joint custody of the kids. Or is it?

    This highly autobiographical family drama from Noah Baumbach is a…