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  • Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket

    ★★★½

    There is not a single normal personal interaction in the first reel — there are the numbed close-ups of the recruits having their heads shaved, but no signs of life there, and only one reaction shot of Matthew Modine having time to contemplate rather than responding to R. Lee Ermey. There is not a single conversation between two people until the start of the second reel; I'm guessing this internal timing was not an accident. I very much admire how,…

  • Benji

    Benji

    Reviewed here. If you have Netflix, definitely watch the post-credits outtakes, which are kind of a perfect one-minute movie. Otherwise, you know...it's Benji.

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  • Frances Ha

    Frances Ha

    ★★★★

    This is the kind of movie that causes strongly polarized reactions based on each viewer's capacity to tolerate/recognize/empathize with those on-screen. Some people just can't handle watching 20-/30-something white people undergo minor crises within a basically privileged framework, which is understandable. (That said, I'm not sure why someone with that mindset would ever go watch ANY NOAH BAUMBACH MOVIE and ask afterwards — as some guy did — " if it had any sort of larger social context… besides only…

  • Magic Mike XXL

    Magic Mike XXL

    ★★★★

    Magic Mike XXL is a putatively "modest"/"small" film — $14.8 million budget, 28-day shooting schedule, a shambling road movie meant to showcase extended musical numbers and largely excising the first film's recessionary panic. (Business is discussed, specifically the hustle of running a small business, but it's not the dominant throughline motivating everything as in the first, a line of inquiry Soderbergh pursued in Erin Brockovich, Bubble and The Girlfriend Experience, in ways that increasingly played like a meta-text about his…