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  • Booksmart

    Booksmart

    ★★

    Trying very hard to be raunchy, ingratiating, and woke, this is buoyed by the natural charm of its performers (as prim, snooty, self-absorbed friends suddenly trying to fit in on the very last day of high school) and a few choice bits until the inevitable collapse into conventional plotting and happy endings. If you suspect you're a little long in the tooth for this sort of thing you're probably right. (BLOCKERS and THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN had more adult involvement for us grayhairs.) (Dolby 88)

  • A Dream of Kings

    A Dream of Kings

    ★★

    Zorba the Chicagoan, as Quinn's penny ante dad tries to hustle enough money to get his ailing son to the motherland, exasperating wife Irene Papas. (He's also carrying on with a depressed widow, played by Inger Stevens in her last role). For years after his GREEK hit Quinn treaded water in flops like this and FLAP, but at least this one's more in his wheelhouse.

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  • Saint Jack

    Saint Jack

    ★★★★★

    A cable favorite in my teens, finally available in a good quality DVD, anamorphically enhanced at last. (Why no Blu-ray?) Its frank, febrile atmosphere is one of those things that got me to Asia, though Singapore was a disappointingly authoritarian place by the time I got there. There's nothing disappointing about the film, though, Bogdanovich's return to movies after a string of flops, a Paul Theroux adaptation made with a dummy script to fool the authorities into thinking it was…

  • The Cloverfield Paradox

    The Cloverfield Paradox

    Brilliantly marketed, but the brilliance stops there. This is a would-be theatrical release from cash-strapped Paramout sloughed off to Netflix, reducing its marketing costs to zero and skirting terrible reviews...for a couple of hours anyway. A confused and uninspired rehash of a number of movies (EVENT HORIZON, GRAVITY, LIFE), it reconnects most strongly with its source (and, for those with longer memories, Paramount's PROPHECY, 1979) in an absolute groaner of an ending, which would have had theater audiences heaving with laughter. Refuse for your queue.