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  • A Silent Voice

    A Silent Voice

    ★★★½

    I am someone who was bullied in school and grew up to be a teacher determined to stop bullying in my own classes (and horrifically, sometimes failed). I'm also uncomfortably familiar with depression/anxiety. Plus I took an American Sign Language class in college.

    Which is all to say that there was a lot for me to identify with in this film. But it also had a tendency to make me cringe with parts that felt disorientingly melodramatic. I wonder if…

  • First Cow

    First Cow

    ★★★★

    I'm so glad I could rent this on Amazon, but I hated not seeing it at the cinema. This was made worse by the aspect ratio. Still, I was so in the mood for this kind of Western. Though it was Autumnal, the pacing fit well with our warm summer day and lack of energy.

    We had to laugh though because we've been watching a lot of reality survival shows (Alone, Naked and Afraid) so their meeting felt very familiar.…

  • Black Is King

    Black Is King

    ★★★½

    This one didn't stun me like watching Lemonade or Beychella, but it is filled with powerful imagery and important history. I am in awe of the costume designer and the overall art direction. The choreography also hit hard. I just wasn't as moved by the music as much as I usually am with Beyonce. There were three songs I felt were super strong, but that is a lower average than usual. She's probably just set the bar so damn high I'm being ridiculous.

  • Lend a Paw

    Lend a Paw

    ★★★½

    This was the short of the day the Academy (of Motion Pictures) sent out in their email.

    I am a sucker for angel/devil on your shoulder tropes. Plus, it was fun to have Pluto the focus. I must have seen a pristine cut because it was gorgeous. I had no idea this won an Oscar until just reading reviews.

  • A Wild Hare

    A Wild Hare

    ★★★½

    I watched this because it was released 80 years ago today. The birthday of Bugs Bunny (here not even named yet)! It's remarkable to see this earliest interration which already contains iconic catchphrases. It was also Oscar-nominated.

    Extra special coincidence:
    Olivia de Havilland gets name-checked in this short. Her impact is everywhere.

  • Catch Me If You Can

    Catch Me If You Can

    ★★★★

    It's shocking that I hadn't seen this film. I think I read some bad things when it came out which now seem absurd. It's just such fun! I mean those opening credits alone! It had style, great pacing, tells an amazing story, and the acting is stellar. Hanks/Spielberg doesn't get nearly enough credit as a great actor/director duo.

    My husband recently saw Frank Abagnale Jr. talk at a conference and got his new book Scam Me If You Can. He even met him. Pretty cool.

  • But I'm a Cheerleader

    But I'm a Cheerleader

    ★★★½

    At long last, a cult queer classic that I should have seen in 1999. Seeing it now and knowing how far both Natasha Lyonne and Clea Duvall have come as LGBTQIA+ icons, it feels almost quaint. Of course, Mink Stole and Rupaul in terrific supporting roles amps up the comparisons to John Waters and Camp in all the best ways.

    I wonder if The Miseducation of Cameron Post would have hit me the same way of I'd seen this first?…

  • Frozen II

    Frozen II

    ★★½

    So, we got Disney+ to watch Hamilton last week. Today we finished the 1st season of Mandalorian which was great, and I would do anything for Baby Yoda.

    It was hot, and we thought hmm, maybe Frozen 2 will help us feel cooler. Sadly, it did not.

    I was bored and also annoyed by the plotting and pacing. It felt cloying and reductive especially compared with the original. I am actually happy I didn't see this at the cinema because…

  • Hamilton

    Hamilton

    ★★★★½

    Listen, over 4 years ago I had already heard the rumblings about Hamilton. When the cast album came out, I was on my laptop, and I thought I'd just start at the beginning. Almost 3 hours later, sobbing, I realized I hadn't moved or dared to breathe because I was overwhelmed by the genius of it all. I became instantly obsessed. My husband took me in Janurary of 2017 to see it on Broadway to celebrate my 50th birthday. It…

  • Da 5 Bloods

    Da 5 Bloods

    ★★★

    I have been a huge Spike Lee fan for over 30 years, and Blackkklansman was in my Top 5 of 2018 (and it was a great year). I could not have been more excited when I heard strong word of mouth on this one. But I was seriously disappointed.

    I'm sure it suffered from being viewed at home where I am easily distracted and the sound wasn't right despite having a surround sound soundbar set up. It made me absolutely…

  • Police Story

    Police Story

    ★★★½

    I adored the stunts and all the choreography of action bits plus the whimsy/difficulty of the comedy scenes. Fun to see such a different Maggie Cheung too.

    It was a bit awkward enjoying the finale as much as I should after all the looting and broken glass in Long Beach last night and today though. It was a great film to try to escape from that reality, however.

    But (don't hate me) I found it pretty cheesy. It truly is exactly like I remember 1985 which was when I graduated from high school and started college. 😂😂😂

    I should have seen it then!

  • The Half of It

    The Half of It

    ★★★½

    Despite a few cringe-worthy cliched scenes, it was refreshing to find Cyrano updated to high school. Much like Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You, classic tales seem to resonate there. There was also much to like in the two leads performances, and their friendship ultimately is the heart of the film. It definitely reminded me of the aches of young love and just how important my friendships were to me then. I love how normal LGBTQIA teen films…