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  • What We Do in the Shadows

    What We Do in the Shadows

    ★★★★

    Canopy Film Circle
    Film No. 8
    Horror Comedies
    Offbeat and delightful.  This mockumentary reveals the awkward, sad, and hilarious side of being a vampire in modern-day Wellington New Zealand.  It’s fun to learn the ins and outs of their daily life (flat meetings about chores, discussions with police about safety hazards in their flat, teaching the new guy the protocol for being a vampire, etc.).  It’s kind of touching, too - when it’s not making you laugh.  The scenes with the local pack of werewolves quibbling over swearwords are a highlight.

  • Blockers

    Blockers

    ★★★

    The first two thirds of this are pretty dumb, but it kind of comes together in the end.  Really messed up premise though.

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  • Manchester by the Sea

    Manchester by the Sea

    ★★★★★

    Brilliant performances, compelling characters, and perfect pacing. I feel like the person I was ten years ago wouldn't have seen anything special at all in this film, but the person I am now was heavily invested. I can't think of any false notes or missteps, but it never feels calculated either. The plot can be boiled down to "bad things happen to good people and it's hard for them", but the script, score, and cast elevate this to something simultaneously…

  • Kramer vs. Kramer

    Kramer vs. Kramer

    ★★★★½

    Canopy Film Circle
    Film No. 7
    Meryl Streep
    A very lifelike depiction of divorce and the unique pain it causes for children and parents.  Dustin Hoffman and the child actor both offer incredibly touching performances.  The script is strikingly ordinary and allows the subtleties of these relationships to carry deep emotional resonance.  There’s a winning tenderness throughout, which allows the audience to wade into the real, actual pain of the many actual and potential separations, beginnings, and endings that are…