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  • Toy Story 4

    Toy Story 4

    ★★★

    "Arriving a full 24 years after the first installment (long enough for CG water to finally be mastered; I’m impressed) Toy Story 4 improves on its misbegotten predecessor, an unceasingly loud affair that climaxed with weirdly intense imagery of the toys on a conveyor belt heading towards an incinerator. It made me think of the Holocaust, and I know I’m not the only person who had that reaction (although showing it to a group of children and pausing it at…

  • Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

    Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

    "I definitely sat right up in my seat when Michael Murphy appeared as 'Rep. Jack Tanner,' to testify to the profound influence Dylan had on him once Tanner’s good friend Jimmy Carter recommended he attend one of the shows. Scorsese has a cameo in Tanner on Tanner, Robert Altman’s second edition of the fictional politician’s saga, so there’s a direct connection—but still, it’s not entirely clear what the joke is here, especially since the dialogue is in no way funny…

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  • Frances Ha

    Frances Ha

    ★★★★

    This is the kind of movie that causes strongly polarized reactions based on each viewer's capacity to tolerate/recognize/empathize with those on-screen. Some people just can't handle watching 20-/30-something white people undergo minor crises within a basically privileged framework, which is understandable. (That said, I'm not sure why someone with that mindset would ever go watch ANY NOAH BAUMBACH MOVIE and ask afterwards — as some guy did — " if it had any sort of larger social context… besides only…

  • Magic Mike XXL

    Magic Mike XXL

    ★★★★

    Magic Mike XXL is a putatively "modest"/"small" film — $14.8 million budget, 28-day shooting schedule, a shambling road movie meant to showcase extended musical numbers and largely excising the first film's recessionary panic. (Business is discussed, specifically the hustle of running a small business, but it's not the dominant throughline motivating everything as in the first, a line of inquiry Soderbergh pursued in Erin Brockovich, Bubble and The Girlfriend Experience, in ways that increasingly played like a meta-text about his…