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  • Fateful Findings

    Fateful Findings

    ★★★

    Some aspiring filmmakers (and critics; I count myself among both) like to think they can "invent a new language of cinema;" that the relationship between sound and picture has not been fully explored, or whatever you want to say. I've almost *definitely* written that here on this site, usually referring to a movie that upended typical narrative conventions in favor of something more unexpected or poetic - Terrence Malick's ambitious recent films; Tarkovsky's MIRROR; or any number of experimental films…

  • Shazam!

    Shazam!

    ★★★

    Maybe I'm nostalgic for a past that probably wasn't great, but SHAZAM! felt - in the best way - like a cheap 90s movie. If you remove the significant CGI here, you're left with a Canada-shot movie starring a guy most famous for a sitcom from a decade ago and (outside of a terrific Mark Strong) a bunch of actors you've never seen before. There's a "cameo" - credited fifth in the end credits! - from someone best known from…

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  • The Leisure Class

    The Leisure Class

    ★½

    I loved Project Greenlight this year, in many of the same ways I wrote about in my ME AND EARL review a few days ago: as much as I disliked Jason Mann As Presented On Project Greenlight, as a sometime filmmaker myself I saw him going through the exact struggles I have faced. As the show wore on, these were less moments like "There's not enough money for film" etc., but the deeper ones. The moment on the show that…

  • The Holiday

    The Holiday

    ★★★★

    I've never been able to extricate "myself" from writing or watching movies. This might be why I have bad taste; it is definitely why I never really wanted to be a critic. The context of all art is colored by experience - your age, your life, your wants and needs and emotional state - and rationalizations about the multitude of things that go into a movie, and into what "type" of movie, can only go so far.

    Two examples: the…