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  • Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road

    ★★★½

  • The Power of the Dog

    ★★★

  • The Beatles: Get Back

    ★★★★★

  • The Night House

    ★★★½

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  • Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road

    Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road

    ★★★½

    Victory lap documentary for Brian Wilson borrows Jerry Seinfeld’s now-retired COMEDIANS IN CARS format for sometimes poignant reminiscence while driving through Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and Malibu.  With pauses for insightful analysis from, among others, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Linda Perry, Don Was and orchestra maestro Gustavo Dudamel.  Likely to be a PBS pledge break perennial.

  • The Power of the Dog

    The Power of the Dog

    ★★★

    Consciously minimalist (the occasional cattle drive excepted) with subtext-packed dialogue, this Gothic Western is Jane Campion’s sporadically effective return to feature filmmaking after two seasons of TOP OF THE LAKE.  Benedict Cumberbatch channels pre-stardom Lee Marvin, with simmering undercurrent of potential menace.

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  • Hitsville: The Making of Motown

    Hitsville: The Making of Motown

    ★★★

    Essentially Berry Gordy conducting his wake (with present tense and archival interviews from collaborators) while he’s still around to enjoy it.  Some great performance footage, but the Berry-centric approach means that classic Motown music is kept on the margins while endless backslapping about the near-infallibility of the company’s assembly line of development/competition/promotion consumes much of the running time.

  • What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

    What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

    ★★½

    Once-over-lightly account of film critic Pauline Kael’s life and career hits the high/low points and contextualizes her influence upon a long-ago period where movies could be debated and ecstatic/contrarian takes would capture the attention of the general public (see also Andrew Sarris, Stanley Kauffmann, Judith Crist).  Skids through the Paramount Pictures sojourn (presumably to avoid offending Warren Beatty), avoids Kael’s over-loyalty to favored directors by elevating subpar work (her review of Sam Peckinpah’s CONVOY) and glancingly acknowledges (mostly through David…