If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!


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BLADE RUNNER 2049: First Impressions

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Orange and teal. Human and replicant. Real and unreal.

I’m going to echo my response to Mad Max: Fury Road and share my initial thoughts on the film now; once I have seen the film a second time, I will write up my final thoughts and interweave them with my initial responses, allowing for an in-depth response not only to the film, but to my own critique of it.

(I will attempt to avoid spoilers, but if you wish to go into the film knowing as little as possible—and I would recommend you do—now is the time to leave.)

Going in, I knew I’d need to see this twice. It was the same way with the original—there, I needed a second viewing to overcome the weight of its reputation, and here I need a second viewing to overcome the weight of the original.

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THE LIGHTSHIP Review – **

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“In a world of vagaries and inconstancy, Captain, it amuses me to set a course and to stick to it.” (Source)

The following review was originally written in 2011. Aside from some minor re-editing, it is presented in its original form.

The Lightship is another entry in the “foreign filmmaker goes Hollywood” cycle, mitigated somewhat by the fact that director Jerzy Skolimowski had worked in British cinema for about 15 years prior to this, and that the film was shot near the German island of Sylt (it’s meant to take place off Cape Hatteras)…but it nonetheless fits into the mold of such films frequently being pretentious duds. Not that The Lightship is without its flashes of interest, but for the most part it feels like a self-conscious attempt at profundity, made memorable largely by an intriguing central performance from Robert Duvall.

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THE FALLS Review – ****

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This review was originally written and posted on August 29, 2014. Save for some minor re-editing, it is presented here verbatim.

Imagine a cinematic dictionary in 92 parts, dealing with a fictitious (so far) event, full of absurdities and the driest humor you could imagine, about a Violent Unexplained Event which affected 19 million people. Imagine that these people began to mutate, began to dream of water, became obsessed with birds in a thousand different ways that no one–yet–has been obsessed with them. Imagine that somewhere in the middle of all this is Tulse Luper.

And who is Tulse Luper? Don’t ask if you don’t have the time to hear the answer.

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The Films of 2017 in 150 Words or Less: Part I

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“$7.50 an hour!” “But he has a million dollar heart!”

I’ve seen far fewer films this year than in previous years; tight finances are partially to blame, and a comparative lack of “must-see” films hasn’t helped. But for the most part, I’ve been pretty lucky with the films I have seen, and so I offer my thoughts on the 22 films I haven’t already reviewed…

I have already made my feelings about The Book of Henry very clear indeed.

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HAMLET (1948) Review – ***½

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“This is the tragedy of a man who could not make up his mind.” (Source)

The quintessential Shakespearean actor of his time, playing the quintessential Shakespearean character in the quintessential Shakespearean play—directing it as well, and adapting/heavily cutting the text? It’s hard to imagine a classier enterprise, and the Academy agreed, giving the film Best Picture and Olivier Best Actor, the only Shakespearean film and performance to be so honored.

But how does it hold up 70 years after the fact?

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THE BOOK OF HENRY Review – **

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If this isn’t the most misleading poster I’ve ever seen, it’s because the film itself is just as misleading.

The Book of Henry is certainly not a good film, but calling it a bad one doesn’t seem to fit; it falls short of the mark, but not in the way a truly bad film does. Rather, it fails to answer two vital questions—who is it for, and what is it about?—and it’s hard to imagine anyone being satisfied with the end result.

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POIL DE CAROTTE Review – ****

I’d known about Poil de Carotte for many years, my father having spoken very highly of it, but despite his regard (and the general regard of the critics), the film has drifted into moderate obscurity in recent years, possibly in part due to the decline in writer-director Julien Duvivier’s reputation.

However, it’s now available through Criterion’s Eclipse series (in a set with other Duvivier films of the era), and I was finally able to see it…and I’m damned glad I did.

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