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  • Phantom of the Paradise

    Phantom of the Paradise

    ★★★½

    Haven’t seen a lot of the early De Palma comedies, but this reminded me most of a more successful Get To Know Your Rabbit.

    Audacious spectacle, oblong structure, and charmingly awkward farce all further splintered by his crowd pleaser/transgressor mode. It’s also then the rare film that accumulates with mythic power the more aggressively incoherent it becomes.

    I have more scattershot thoughts, but also quite enjoyed the musical aspects. I somewhat expected the glam/proto-punk by way of doo-wop, but less expected some…

  • Goodbye, Dragon Inn

    Goodbye, Dragon Inn

    ★★★★½

    One last look.

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  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★

    Absolutely not. 

    Only aggressively terrible for about five minutes but aggressively dull for the rest of the time.

  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★½

    The Rider wasn’t immune to awkwardness, but its hybridization of modes felt alive. This just feels overdetermined and overwritten, with too much dialogue and incident and affected emotion.

    Sure, Frances is good but her technical balance works in spite of the script, and it’s telling that the movie feels the most naturalistic when it’s her and Strathairn together. It’s the rare time when it doesn’t feel like we have a weird proxy to listen to poor people tell their stories…