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  • Knock Down the House

    Knock Down the House

    ★★★½

    In case you were wondering, as I was, why the media (on both sides, but to a downright disturbing extent on the right) has been so obsessed with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It hit me within a few minutes of seeing her on-screen here--it's clear that she's not only insanely charismatic but also embodies all the things that have created the only two successful and enduringly popular Democratic politicians (Presidents) in the past 30 years. Working-class background with a unique, universally appealing…

  • The Beach Bum

    The Beach Bum

    ★★½

    Just the other day someone reminded me of the maxim "Comedy = Believability + Surprise." The makers of this film forgot about that timeless formula, or they have a different idea about what constitutes 'believability.'

    In "The Beach Bum" Korine has doubled down on the James Franco comedic second half of "Spring Breakers" and tried his hand at straight-up comedy--in the same location and with a similar visual palette, too. But Franco's appearance in that film was a surprising juxtaposition…

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  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

    2001: A Space Odyssey

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    TL;DR: "2001" is a great film, and it's worth watching even if the circumstances aren't perfect.

    I've been pondering what an enormous range of experiences watching a movie is for people in 2013. From silent reverence in front of 35mm projections to an iPad and headphones while falling asleep, it's a wider spectrum than what I once experienced simply as: a) going to the cinema with friends or family, b) watching on TV enduring commercial breaks or on VHS tapes…

  • Training Day

    Training Day

    ★★★★

    The best part about joining this site was retroactively giving a grade to films I've seen while combing the site's database. This was easy for me as Netflix used to have a similar social layer without half-stars that I used and I mostly clicked on the same star (give or take a 1/2). I don't know what kind of psychological profile it gives me (insane film rating completist?) but I went back pretty far in time in terms of what…