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  • There's Always Vanilla

    There's Always Vanilla

    ★★★

    Chris, a Vietnam vet who has ambled through various jobs and grown weary of his recent brush with the music industry, returns to his home city of Pittsburgh to visit his father and to check up on an old flame. He is literally knocked off his feet by a gorgeous aspiring actress, Lynn, who makes her living appearing in various television commercials. These two quickly dive into a carefree fling and start living together, only to drift apart when the…

  • Le Samouraï

    Le Samouraï

    ★★★★★

    Jef Costello is a professional hitman whose existence is governed by a meticulous attention to detail, as evidenced by the way that he straightens his hat every time he leaves his modest apartment, the way that he blankly stares into the distance while sorting through his chain of keys as he steals a car, and the way that he slips on a pair of white gloves before killing his targets. During the mostly dialogue-free exposition, as he dresses in his…

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  • Dawn of the Dead

    Dawn of the Dead

    ★★★★

    When the world is taken over by zombies in a matter of hours, a ragtag assortment of survivors finds shelter at a shopping mall while the rest of civilization crashes around them. Their battle to keep the zombies at bay while supplies run low is complicated by a series of interpersonal conflicts and flawed decisions.

    I prefer the original 1978 George A. Romero version of Dawn of the Dead, as most other horror fans probably do, but this 2004 Zack…

  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★★★★

    Ridley Scott's 1982 science fiction classic, Blade Runner, introduced us to the bleakly dystopian landscape of Los Angeles in the year 2019, after environmental devastation has driven humanity to establish off-world colonies by using genetically-engineered android beings, referred to as “replicants”, for dangerous slave labor. After a series of violent mutinies in the colonies, these replicants, which are designed to be more durable than humans, have been declared illegal on Earth, where they are tracked down and executed by special…