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  • No Way Out

    No Way Out

    ★★★½

    I know his career wasn’t established yet— and that Hollywood billing order isn’t an indication of amount of screen time— but Sidney Poitier deserved top billing for this role. He commands the screen more than any other actor, and the intensity he exhibits is unmatched. No Way Out is anxiety-inducing, the subject matter entirely infuriating, and the film overall a really worthy landmark in Hollywood history, despite some muddled aspects that can only be attributed to a white writer/director. Still definitely worth checking out!

    3.7/5

  • Penny Serenade

    Penny Serenade

    ★★★½

    I’ve been in a weird mood this past week— anxious, melancholic, not quite like myself. Whenever feelings like this start biting away, I always look toward Old Hollywood films to make me feel more like me again, even if it's just temporary. A Cary Grant and Irene Dunne melodrama from 80 years ago can certainly work wonders.

    3.25/5

  • Captain Marvel

    Captain Marvel

    “Don’t make me do it.”
    “..okay?”

    It’s kind of hilarious that the dudebros’ chief complaint about this film—beyond, you know, the overall sexist comments— for months and months cited Brie Larson’s supposed “emotionless and wooden" acting, when, in fact:

    1) The film directly addresses how much of Carol’s life is dictated by people trying to regulate her emotions.

    2) Brie Larson can deliver so much dismissiveness, humor, and dominance in one single "okay" than most actors are capable of in entire feature-length performances.

  • I Want to Live!

    I Want to Live!

    ★★★★

    Don’t even know where to begin with this one. The opening title card is a brief passage stating that all the events depicted are factual, so the film immediately sets itself up as this “real” interpretation of Barbara Graham—a woman convicted of murder— and her last years. (A glance at the film’s wiki describes I Want to Live! as “somewhat fictionalized”.) Like many “based on a true story” films, it suffers from inconsistent pacing, trying to quickly establish one’s entire…

  • Blockers

    Blockers

    ★★★½

    "WELL, THAT'S THE LAST OF THE ASS BEER."

  • Bachelor Mother

    Bachelor Mother

    ★★★½

    “You’ve disgraced the toy department.”

    I don’t think I’ve yet watched a Ginger Rogers film where she DOESN’T have amazing chemistry with her co-star. She and David Niven are delightful together, and I love the premise of this film so much. Plus that ending…. Maury Povich just can’t compete with these old school “I’m not the father!” antics.

    3.4/5

  • Patterns

    Patterns

    ★★★★

    A pretty superb mid-century drama about corporate ethics and big business. The screenplay allows for an undercurrent of tension right from the beginning, using the mundanity of a morning office routine to set up unique character dynamics. It’s all led by measured performances that are just bubbling underneath the surface, ready to explode at any moment. Patterns is currently streaming on Amazon Prime, so I highly recommend checking it out!

    3.75/5

  • The Barefoot Contessa

    The Barefoot Contessa

    ★★★

    The Barefoot Contessa is one of those films that had me constantly pondering, “what if this was written by a woman?” The entire script is about Ava Gardner’s character, but we never really know her beyond the first act— she’s just an idea that exists through the eyes and lips of the men around her. This type of narrative structure isn’t necessarily bad, but Ava’s character is one that interests me a great deal, so it’s a bit frustrating not…

  • Waterloo Bridge

    Waterloo Bridge

    ★★★

    The scene where Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor dance in the candlelight as the band plays “Auld Lang Syne” is quite honestly the most romantic thing I’ve ever witnessed.

    3.2/5

  • Caged

    Caged

    ★★★½

    The DVD cover declared this a “CULT CAMP CLASSIC” in big, bold letters, so I was fully prepared to bask in the campiness of Caged, a 1950s film about a women’s prison. Although the film does lean into that territory often, it also has a quite hardened approach to its subject matter, and I was taken by surprise at the pessimistic ending. But, in all honesty, what interested me the most about Caged was simply being able to witness women…

  • Edge of the City

    Edge of the City

    ★★★½

    I am in love with John Cassavetes and Sidney Poitier’s interactions in this film and their natural, contagious chemistry. Edge of the City was made *specifically* with all my interests in mind.

    3.7/5

  • Summertime

    Summertime

    ★★★★½

    “That’s a wonderful feeling, the feeling of Venice.”

    Rewatched this on a cold winter evening, and now I feel warm, and comforted, and happy.