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  • Gold Is Where You Find It

    Gold Is Where You Find It

    ★½

    Blorg. Few pros: I'm a completist for ODH, Rains, Curtiz, Polito. WB's late 30s color films are among the most beautiful films ever. I'm glad Curtiz/Polito worked out the kinks through this film so that The Adventures of Robin Hood was able to be the world's biggest stunner.

    I don't know what the script should have more of. I sort of wanted more Tim Holt. I liked that ODH yelled at him and called him a "dude" as an insult.…

  • The Human Comedy

    The Human Comedy

    ★★★★½

    I loved this film and I thought Rooney was incredible. A far more off-beat picture than anyone here would lead you to believe. Sweetly devastating. Gently empowering. When episodes are so short, they are allowed to live forever. Fleeting glimpses stay with you longer than blunt stares. Mosaic film structure is the greatest. This movie is weird on purpose and deserves greater recognition. I like it more than The Odyssey. It’s like the whole country has abandoned itself and everyone in Ithaca is lonely. Characters do things just because they’re lonely and need to pass the time (fill the time) somehow. Very relatable. Not dated.

  • Animal Crackers

    Animal Crackers

    What an insufferable family

  • The Winning of Barbara Worth

    The Winning of Barbara Worth

    ★★★

    Testament to two key things of this era:
    - MMF love triangles tend to be more interesting when they focus on the relationship between the two men. Cards are stacked towards that here as Cooper and Colman are both legendary as ever (it helps that we can hear their voices, I'll admit) and Banky gives a bog-standard bad silents performance (left fist raised to cheek in distress and all... and the awkward gun holding where the elbow is too bent…

  • Little Women

    Little Women

    Katherine Hepburn keeps exclaiming "CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS" (even though her sister tells her not to utter such a profanity the first time she does it) and then she tells adenoidal twink Douglass Montgomery that "boys don't like kittens." Jo March is so cancelled in this movie. TEAR IT DOWN

    I wish Montgomery was just in silents though. Here's a line he stumbles through in the movie, sounding like Chris Walken with a cold, "You kept away from me ever since I…

  • King Solomon's Mines

    King Solomon's Mines

    ★★★

    Stewart Granger is so good in the lead role and offers compelling takes on humanity's relationship with animal wildlife for the audience to ponder. I don't think the killing of animals in the opening justifies the anti-poaching energy that the rest of the film goes for (this is where stock footage would come in handy). It doesn't full cash in this check either, but it remains very respectful of the land and the animals, as well as the people of…

  • Brink of Life

    Brink of Life

    ★★★★½

    Bergman boxset continues!

    Bittersweet that this is the last new-to-me film of the whole set. What a strong note to end on, confirming that NONE of these films aren't great (and I've been valuing them more as they relate to each other... this would have gotten top marks if it wasn't in competition with the rest of the Bergman repertory). It's an interesting reframe of Waiting Women, with the structure now more literal and straightforward in presentation but nuanced and…

  • Around the World in Eighty Days

    Around the World in Eighty Days

    ★★★★½

    Launch day EPCOT® if it was a movie.

    A vacation movie that's not going LOOK, LOOK AT THIS, but just saying, "feel free to look around." This is one of the most underrated Best Picture winners I've ever seen.

    First off, this film does the right thing with the source material: it satirizes it. It took a colonialist/imperialist text and made it anti-colonial and anti-imperial. Niven IS the villain. He never does anything for himself. The only actions he takes…

  • Music in the Air

    Music in the Air

    ★★★

    Less than the sum of its parts but it's got so many pals and it's an operetta film and there weren't enough of those! "Every Little Star" is such a banger and I never knew it was a Kern/Hammerstein song so I was thrilled to hear it (also, prompted me to say, "this is the girl," because I'm an unwashed millennial). I'm more into the Bavaria stuff than the backstage operetta stuff (not in general, but as delivered here). Prob…

  • Sergeant York

    Sergeant York

    Alvin York is a compelling figure and he was right to request Cooper for the part. There's a bit in the film where York refuses to sell his violent deeds for profit (true story) so I'm glad there was a good reason for him to finally acquiesce to sell the his rights for a film (he would only use this fame to support local causes dear to him, generally education). Cooper is excellent at getting you into the head of…

  • The More the Merrier

    The More the Merrier

    It's a sexy movie when the time comes and everyone is right about that; it's got some nice soft and clever one-liners and Arthur is at her absolute best, better than the rest!

    But Joel McCrea apparently is one of the guys that makes sure US planes can make it to Japan and you can't help but think about the fact that our romantic lead is one of the guys that enabled the US to murder so many innocent Japanese…

  • Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet

    Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet

    ★★★½

    Lovely Otto Kruger and EGR love story about them wanting to cure all the diseases so they can look at each other and cry. Ruth Gordon plays "Du, du liegst mir im Herzen" on the piano twice (once with EGR helping) and I'm sure Kruger must have heard it because he plays the same song to Stanwyck in masterpiece Ever in My Heart and I'm gonna assume that Kruger's character here is the father of his character in that film.…