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Monthly Archives: May 2018

‘AMERICAN ANIMALS’ IS A KNOCKOUT

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American Animals is a totally absorbing heist movie that just happens to be true–although director Bart Layton is cagey about just how true. He opens in the present day, interviewing the real-life parents of the main character; then we…
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GOING ‘SOLO’ AND STRIKING GOLD

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If you’re going to introduce a prequel to the Star Wars saga in a different way than anyone has tried before you’d better deliver the goods. Despite its well-documented production problems, Solo: A Star Wars Story does exactly that.…
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THE ‘CASABLANCA’ WE MAY NEVER GET TO SEE

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Unlike some lesser-known movies from Hollywood’s golden age, Casablanca enjoys enduring appeal and continues to produce substantial revenue for the studio that made it, Warner Bros. As a result, it will likely be available in every home-viewing medium yet to be…
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DEADPOOL 2: NOT MY IDEA OF FUN

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Nearly everything about the original Deadpool was fresh and funny, from the opening credits to the parody of Marvel movie finales. I’m not a fan of self-referential films but this one had so much energy and sheer bravado that…
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YOUNG CLARK GABLE, “FATTY” ARBUCKLE, W.C. FIELDS, LOUISE BROOKS, AND MORE

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Specialty distributors haven’t given up on DVDs and Blu-rays. In fact, they seem to be busier than ever releasing rare films and archival oddities, faster than I can possibly review them. Here is a sampling of some goodies I’ve…
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LOVE & BANANAS: FOOD FOR THE SOUL

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Love & Bananas is a modest but captivating documentary about the sorry fate of elephants in Southeast Asia. It dodges the hazard that plagues many cinematic labors of love. Too often the director’s enthusiasm and good intentions don’t translate to…
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FROM ‘SAMSON’ TO ‘SHANE’: THE UNSUNG VICTOR YOUNG

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It’s a matter of record that Jonny Greenwood earned an Oscar nomination for scoring Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread…but a significant piece of music that sets the tone for this moody character portrait is Victor Young’s “My Foolish Heart,” played…
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