If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!


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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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Cannes 2017 Results

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I think he’s happy.

I may not have called it, but I came pretty damn close – and I’m quite happy to be ever so slightly wrong.

Let’s jump right in. Read my initial thoughts on the competitors here. For more information about the festival, and the full list of competing/non-competing films and awards, go here.

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Pepsi 1893 Review – All Four Flavors

Truth be told, I’m not a Pepsi man. I’m not even really a cola man; I prefer a good Pepper-style soda or ginger ale most of the time. And when it comes to the major colas, I frankly think Coca-Cola is superior.

But when Pepsi put out their “1893” line of experimental sodas, I was intrigued. I meant to try the first two flavors (Original and Ginger) some time ago, but that was around the time I cut back my soda intake significantly and I ended up never having any. But recently, noting the release of two additional flavors (Citrus and Black Currant), I resolved to try all four and write them up.

So here are the four members of the Pepsi 1893 roster. Let’s see if Pepsi bests Coke at branching out into the craft-soda market.

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Original New York Seltzer Cola & Berry

I’ll proceed with caution regarding ONYS’ other flavors, but at least I know they have one flavor I can savor.

Here’s hoping I can track down Cola & Berry. That seems like their most interesting flavor.

So I said when reviewing ONYS’ Peach flavor. Imagine my delight when, a few months later, I happened upon several bottles of Cola & Berry in a World Market. I bought it and drank it promptly, recording my impressions as I did so. Apologies for not writing up my thoughts sooner, but I simply never got around to it.

The following review is as verbatim from my notes as possible, so I apologize if the review is a bit rough around the edges.

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Cannes 2017: The Palme d’Or Contenders

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The 70th Cannes Film Festival kicks off today, and to mark the occasion I’ve decided to evaluate – in my own poor way – the films in contention for the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or.

I have provided synopses for all the contenders and trailers, when available. I have also taken a stab at guessing who’ll actually win the Palme, though my methods in doing so are wholly unscientific (unless you consider hunches to have a science of their own).

Apologies, by the way, for not breaking down the Un Certain Regard contenders and non-competitive screenings. Time and space did not allow.

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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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