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  • The Thin Red Line

    The Thin Red Line

    ★★★★★

    "If I never meet you in this life, let me feel the lack."

    Fifth viewing on the big screen alone, added to a couple more on home video, and this hasn't lost a single bit of its power. If anything, when stacked up next to KNIGHT OF CUPS, it's some kind of alien wonder now. As much as I adore BADLANDS, there's just nothing that ever came before this -- by Malick or anyone -- that was anything like this…

  • Amadeus

    Amadeus

    ★★★★★

    The following essay was published Feb 9, 2012, during a Blogathon hosted by the wonderful critic Bilge Ebiri.


    ___________



    “I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.” – W.A. Mozart

    What do you remember about Antonio Salieri? Chances are, it's not his music – it's his words. And that goes not only for the real Salieri, but for the Salieri character in Milos Forman's magnificent 1984 film Amadeus (titled, of course, after Mozart's middle name, not…

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  • The Birds

    The Birds

    ★★★★

    Probably the best sound design of Hitchcock's career. I love the Hermann scores as much as anyone, but Hitch's insistence upon silence almost all the way throughout proves horrifying and genius. None of the bird attacks are accompanied with the shrieking violins or booming cellos we'd gotten from PSYCHO; just straight-up silence. So the audio work of the bird shrieks themselves stands out more - hardly anyone is yelling or cursing or shouting orders, they're just flailing about while all…

  • The Lovebirds

    The Lovebirds

    ★★½

    Better than STUBER, slightly better than MURDER MYSTERY, worse than THE BIG SICK, and much much worse than EYES WIDE SHUT.

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  • Mission: Impossible

    Mission: Impossible

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    It's all about the scene in the third act when Ethan and Jim reunite and have a drink together. Jim is trying to convince Ethan that Kittridge is the mole, not knowing Ethan already figured out it was Jim because of the Drake Hotel bible. So Ethan, having the upper hand, narrates a flashback where he pretends to realize how Kittridge did it, all for Jim's benefit -- meanwhile, DePalma's visuals tell a different story: the way Ethan is seeing…

  • Devs

    Devs

    ★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Even if this show didn't feature what is probably the single worst lead performance of any major prestige drama in the last 25 years (but it does: Sonoya Mizuno is deeply, all-encompassingly terrible in a way it's hard to fathom, episode after episode), it would still be a failure of ideas. ANNIHILATION is starting to feel more and more like an anomaly; its clever sci-fi concept had the courage to perform an existential autopsy of the human condition without pulling…