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Monthly Archives: October 2019

PARASITE: THE BEST FILM I’VE SEEN THIS YEAR

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I love watching movies without knowing much about them; that’s why I avoid trailers and try not to read articles in the run-up to a film’s release. Seeing Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite with a clean slate made it an overwhelming experience:…
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CHAPLIN DISCOVERIES—AFTER 90 YEARS

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You’d think by now we’d have seen all there is to see of Charlie Chaplin on film—but you’d be wrong. The new Criterion Collection release of The Circus (1928) has a cornucopia of previously-unknown material that makes it a “must” even…
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‘JOKER’ IS RELENTLESSLY GRIM

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I hated this movie and that’s no joke. (In the spirit of full disclosure, my wife thought it was a great piece of social commentary.) Officially a prequel to the Batman series, this parable takes place in the not-too-distant past, during…
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PAIN AND GLORY: THE LATEST FROM ALMODÓVAR

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So many of Pedro Almodóvar’s best films have been autobiographical that I hesitate to criticize this one for oversharing, but that’s how I felt at first.  The filmmaker even chronicles his medical issues in some detail. I would never…
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EDDIE MURPHY SCORES IN ‘DOLEMITE IS MY NAME’

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Eddie Murphy is back and on top of his game, playing underground comedian and proto-rap artist Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name. It’s a role he was born to play and, to use the vernacular, he kills it. Rudy…
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LUCY IN THE SKY: EARTHBOUND

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Lucy in the Sky is an ideal vehicle for Natalie Portman, cast as an astronaut who finds outer space thrilling and life back on earth somewhat less so. Affecting a Southern accent and sporting a short haircut, she creates a…
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MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN

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Alexandre O. Philippe specializes in documentaries about notable movies, including 78/52, a brilliant exploration of Alfred Hitchcock’s shower scene from Psycho. Memory is somewhat different; it isn’t a “making-of” film, as that has been done before. This is more an examination of the…
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