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  • Spy Game

    Spy Game

    ★★

    Despite my high tolerance for Tony Scott and enthusiasm for his work, I had never gotten around to seeing Spy Game, his glossy 2001 thriller. After seeing it I know why it took this long. As Enemy of the State was a blockbuster riff on The Conversation, so is Spy Game to Three Days of the Condor, with Redford riffing on his classic role in that. This film has a structural flaw that stops things from getting exciting: a race against…

  • Da 5 Bloods

    Da 5 Bloods

    ★★

    Disappointing.  A movie about Vietnam War movies more than about anything else. Meant to evoke The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre and Apocalypse Now but I was also reminded sadly of Last Vegas. Works best as a hangout movie in the first section and of course a showcase for Delroy Lindo (I did like that his PTSD and lifelong shame about the war was why he was now one of those mythical Black Trump supporters), but once again the film…

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  • Crazy World

    Crazy World

    ★★★★

    A privileged moment: a thousand people gathered together to watch a deranged Wakaliwood action film with live feature length narration from Video Joker VJ Emmie. The fourth wall came crashing down at the halfway point. A potent reminder that cinema can do anything and everything, the sheer exuberance of creativity, budget be damned. Certainly one of the best TIFF screenings ever.

  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★★★★

    It’s long because it needs to be, a film chronicling 60 years in the life of a loyal soldier in the Philadelphia mob, 2/3 of the film is a historical overview of the minutiae of mob life set against a historical canvas of American history (except with all the supposed “glamour” Scorsese’s been accused of depicting in his crime dramas drained out) and a meditative final third about the inevitability of old age and death, where the true tragedies of…