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  • The 15:17 to Paris

    The 15:17 to Paris

    ★★

    It’s testing... . . my faith. . . ..... .

  • The Chase

    The Chase

    ★★★

    Another UW-Cinematheque blog—that's all I post here these days, huh?—this time written for a packed screening introduced by David Bordwell. The Chase kicks off this semester's seven-film Cinematheque series tied to Bordwell's new book, Reinventing Hollywood. The book's big claim is that, in lieu of technological innovations like sound or widescreen, Hollywood filmmakers in the 1940s threw themselves at the problems of storytelling, not inventing but codifying the use of flashbacks, dream sequences, restricted narration, et al, into norms of…

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  • Hot Fuzz

    Hot Fuzz

    ★★★★½

    Like a live-action Simpsons, when the show was at its peak. So fast, so smart and yet so silly, and so committed to giving life to its world, so that we may laugh later when running jokes find their way into the mystery, the gunplay, even the architecture. Every time, I'm astonished by all the information Wright packs into this thing, all to justify the stupidest plot twist of all time. That stupidity stands out against such intelligent craft and…

  • The Purple Rose of Cairo

    The Purple Rose of Cairo

    ★★★★

    What starts as a trite the-magic-of-the-movies P.S.A. grows into a fantasy, then a satire, then a tender romance and, penultimately, a tragedy. It then ends where it began, which now does not seem so trite but cathartic, honest and deeply earned. This may be my new favorite of Woody's, for its array of tones and for the way he sublimates his love of movies into creating a new mythology of them. The movie-within-and-without-a-movie conceit is still ingenious, for there are…