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  • Samurai Rebellion

    Samurai Rebellion

    ★★★★½

    Yep, still just as good on a re-watch. A story of traditional Japanese values of family and community above all and obeying your superior vs. Western values of individual wants and interests, with the movie serving as a searing critique of those traditional values when they're taken to the extreme (and there's certainly an analogue to post-war Japanese business culture of the era that someone as politically minded as Kobayashi wanted to get across as well). It's one of Mifune's…

  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

    Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

    ★★★

    The themes are very, very well trodden & it doesn't bring anything new to the table (I mean, it is a play written in the early 80s about the 1920s, this isn't surprising), and it's too brief to dig very deep into any of the characters in the depth needed for an ensemble piece like this. In terms of direction, I don't despite it, but every time we get one of the big monologues or big dramatic scenes in the movie,…

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  • The Father

    The Father

    ★★★★½

    MVFF #11

    Watching The Father made me realize how much a shared experience there is with those who have taken care of a parent or grandparent who is slipping away due to dementia, because I recognized pretty much everything here as something me and my parents experienced when we had my Grandma move into our house for several years. Anthony Hopkins plays the titular role with Olivia Colman as his daughter, and what makes the film so great in my…

  • Murder!

    Murder!

    ★★★

    A clear step up from Hitchcock's first two sound films, he shows a far greater comfort with the form that he did with Blackmail and Juno and the Paycock. The stand-outs here are the cinematography and editing, (the two biggest problems with his last movie), creating a lot of suspense and excitement using tools like quick cutting, extreme angles, inserts shots of trembling hands, and shadows creeping up the walls. This is also a very early role for Herbert Marshall…