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  • Little Women

    Little Women

    ★★★★½

    I started watching this on my own on my laptop, and then it struck me that I had no connection to this story on my own. I was enjoying it, but I wasn’t feeling it the way it seemed like I might. So I turned it off an hour in, and proposed that we watch it as a family. This story is deeply important to my mom, and she can’t even read the first page of the novel without weeping.…

  • Metropolis

    Metropolis

    ★★★★★

    A spectre is haunting the world. Fritz Lang knows it. It is a spectre whose face we cannot see, whose identity we yearn to uncover. It is a spectre whose presence is felt by every human being, simply by the hole which would be left by its absence. Some imagine it to be a violent, vindictive spectre, and others, a kind and gentle one. Still others believe it is not a spectre at all but a task achievable by men.…

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  • The Vast of Night

    The Vast of Night

    ★★★★

    ‘You’re very good. I hope you can get far away from here.’

    This is a film that succeeds on its technical accomplishes and its stars more than it does on the merits of its story. While those technical aspects are marvelous, and Sierra McCormick and Jake Horowitz carry the picture with a helping of charm, I don’t find much depth underneath its exceptional surface.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t themes. The screenplay is littered with references to a…

  • Sabrina

    Sabrina

    ★★★½

    It’s Harrison Ford’s film, and really, the only reason it has to exist is just to put Harrison Ford in it. I can see why it was Bogart originally. Sydney Pollack does nothing much of note directorially, and the rest of the cast is fine. The script often sparkles with dialogue that feels snappy enough that I wonder how much was lifted from the original. They just didn’t write the same way in 1995 as they did in 1954.

    MVP: Harrison Ford’s secretary (Dana Ivey). Nails every line and is consistently hilarious.

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  • Miami Vice

    Miami Vice

    ★★★★½

    Much, much closer to a 5 than I ever expected. Goodness, this was incredible.

    I think this is the only time smoothed-out frame rate digital cinematography really worked for me. It’s the first time the ‘immediacy’ of the clean, interlaced video wasn’t eclipsed by the jarring reality that most films aren’t shot that way. And it really, really suits the picture. It’s all about human connection and how fleeting but wonderful it is. Things end and lifetime commitments come due…

  • Ready Player One

    Ready Player One

    ★½

    There’s a shot towards the end of the film where the villain’s avatar in the game world is preparing for another ‘turn the tide’ moment in the battle scene. The ‘camera’, because of course this is all CG and there are no cameras, swoops in towards him. The background shifts perspective. It’s a dolly zoom.

    In Jaws, Steven Spielberg used the dolly zoom in a pivotal scene. That shot defined the way that dolly zooms are used in cinema ever…