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  • Morocco

    Morocco

    ★★★★★

    [94]

    Watched this a little over two weeks ago (7/27 to be exact) and fully intended to revisit it right away, holding off a review for that inevitable second viewing. Time has eluded me, though, as it usually does, and while I do hope to watch this again soon, I need to post my initial thoughts before all these moments escape me. In short: spellbinding, grinding out a heavily impulsive response from me—rapturous without really having to try. Some notes:…

  • The Aviator's Wife

    The Aviator's Wife

    ★★★★★

    [97]

    Hard to adequately transcribe the sheer force of Rohmer's romantic artifice into words : there's nothing bombast or gaudy here, nothing that ostentatiously screams "masterpiece," but perhaps maybe that's why I find it so deserving. It's incredibly intimate and humble, and I can't say I've encountered an embodiment of human emotion and self-energized turmoil—pulled taught against the growing pains of misdirection and indecision—as masterfully realized as this. Even in its simplicity -- there are really only five main setpieces…

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  • Enemy

    Enemy

    ★★★★½

    [83]

    Third viewing, at the request of my wife ; no score change, but I still think this is utterly fantastic, and (now more than ever) the best thing Villeneuve is ever gonna do. Not much new to say that I haven’t already addressed in my previous review ; I understand why so many people hate this — it’s truly nothing but glossy surface texture, however, in Denis’s case it’s also the only instance where his dismal aesthetic and aggravated…

  • A Star Is Born

    A Star Is Born

    ★★

    [36]

    Takes what made Cukor’s version so amazing and wrings it of all the sentiment and tenderness (not to mention, I just don’t think this story is nearly as effective with the mid-70s “rock star” varnish ; I understand that each version of this film is essentially a time capsule for its era of release, but yuck in my opinion). I don’t get the feeling John actually cares about Esther on any emotional or intellectual level deeper than a pleasure…

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  • mother!

    mother!

    ★★★★½

    [84]

    Second viewing, no score change. This is the final post and then I’m done babbling about this movie (for a while, anyway).

    [Heavy spoilers ahead.]

    Second look confirmed that MOTHER! was every bit as good as my initial reaction signified, and it will surely wind up at the top of my “best of 2017” films. Saw it with my wife, who sometimes likes “different” stuff and as the movie ended, she turned to me and said, ”that might be…

  • Lady Bird

    Lady Bird

    ★★★½

    [70]

    ON ONE HAND, there's absolutely nothing wrong with LADY BIRD, and I completely understand the (at the time of writing) 100% approval rating -- can't imagine someone, on a binary scale, thinking this deserves a thumbs down; ON THE OTHER HAND, it ticks so many of the genre's typical tropes -- late-teen wanting to "get out" of her cruddy town, ditching her best friend for the popular kids only to find that the popular kids are lame, girl falling…