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  • The Freshman

    The Freshman

    ★★★★½

    The lost Godfather film. Somewhere in that 20 year wave of Mafia comedies that followed in the wake of 1985's critical and commercial hit Prizzi's Honor, Marlon Brando resurrected Vito Corleone. He did it for a very offbeat little TriStar comedy from writer/director Andrew Bergman and starring Matthew Broderick (playing against the smart aleck teen type that he'd perfected in films like WarGames and Ferris Bueller's Day Off) as Clark, a naïve first year NYU film student whose bad-luck arrival…

  • Godzilla

    Godzilla

    ★★★★½

    Hooptober Fest 4.0
    Film 17/40
    6 films from before 1970

    Ishirô Honda's Gojira is very heavy. I'm so used to the fun side of monster mass destruction: a giant flying turtle interrupts some massive ancient space dinosaur that's destroyed half a city while laughing Japanese children cheer the turtle-y antics on. Gojira is having none of that. Instead we get kids with radiation poisoning, missing family, dead parents, and the very real consequences of mass destruction.

    So it seems that…

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  • Bad Day at Black Rock

    Bad Day at Black Rock

    ★★★★

    A Year of Film History Challenge
    (watching a little bit of film history month by month, decade by decade)
    --
    When out-of-towner John J. Macreedy (played by Spencer Tracy) arrives at Black Rock one day, he finds the atmosphere of the tiny desert town so foul and tense it's as if he just walked into an elevator full of people wherein someone had just let out a fart that left one person dead. It's that bad.

    Something is very rotten…

  • Jumping Joan

    Jumping Joan

    ★★★★

    The Weekly Animation Challenge 2019
    Week 11: Animated Films Directed by Women
    --
    Here am I
    little jumping Joan
    When nobody's with me,
    I'm always alone.

    ---English nursery rhyme

    Dark and riveting animated short about a child exploring a shadowy reflection of this world, and discovering that both illumination and darkness within this place originate from inside herself. It's hard to say if the darkness within had always been there or if it entered into Joan somehow, but it is…

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  • Intruder

    Intruder

    ★★★½

    The 2019 Cult Movie Challenge
    Week 19: 80's Horror Week
    --
    Sam Raimi might be a great director but his acting skills are pretty questionable, particularly his performance as a corpse in Scott Spiegel's Intruder. It's like he's never been dead before!

    So this was sadly not a feature-length adaptation of the deliciously creepy song by Peter Gabriel but you know what? It was still pretty fun. Had the energy of a group of friends having a good time making…

  • Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond

    Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond

    ★★★★

    The very first shot of Jim and Andy is of a now gray-bearded 55-year-old Jim Carrey, and it feels like he's playing a character. Is this Old Jim we're seeing? Or Documentary Jim? Or are we just so used to Some Character Jim that we don't recognize the real him when we see it? Or even more disconcerting: did Real Jim get tossed aside somewhere along the road to the fame he now enjoys, possibly lost in the funhouse that…