THE HAND OF GOD

“Fabietto so hates the crummy hand he’s been dealt, he wants to create an entirely different reality to live in, and cinema allows him to build newer, more beautiful worlds from scratch. I’m not sure The Hand Of God always works, but I felt like I understood something important about Sorrentino and his elaborately constructed pictures when it was over.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 12/01/2021

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BELFAST

“Branagh and his regular cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos obviously saw Roma a whole bunch of times and liked it a lot, borrowing the low-contrast black-and-white digital video, distractingly hyper-separated audio tracks and approaching every shot from the most unexpected, obtuse angle they could possibly find. Then another Van Morrison song comes on.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 12/01/2021

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ONE HEAT MINUTE RUM AND RANT #39: THE FINAL BELL

On a special Patreon subscriber exclusive my buddy Blake Howard and I discuss the dubious merits of Sylvester Stallone’s pandemic project, the re-edited and robot-free Rocky IV: Rocky Vs. Drago. But mostly we keep coming back to our affection for Sly’s hilariously narcissistic, meathead philosophizing in the accompanying making-of documentary. – One Heat Minute, 11/26/2021

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HOUSE OF GUCCI

“A fine Thanksgiving film for dysfunctional families, the gaudily entertaining House Of Gucci also brings an early delivery of Christmas ham, providing a feast for scenery-chewers like Jeremy Irons, Jared Leto and especially Al Pacino. But the show belongs to Lady Gaga, giving one of the most preposterously enjoyable performances you’re going to see this year.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 11/23/2021

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THE HUMANS

The Humans is hobbled at every turn by Karam’s curious camerawork. Not just the random inserts of cruddy windowpanes and clanging pipes, but also ostentatious dolly shots that circle the table, making sure to obscure the faces of whoever you want to look at most during a given scene. It’s the most distractingly directed movie of the year not named Belfast.” – North Shore Movies, 11/23/2021

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TOMBSTONE BLUES: THE SOUR REVISIONISM OF FRANK PERRY’S DOC

Doc dismantles the Western limb-from-limb, trying to see how much nothing it can leave you with. I admire the effrontery of its anti-entertaining intentions while I can’t imagine a film I’d want to watch again less. It’s a sad, muted little movie in which people plod off to their inevitable ends, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral more like a massacre than any test of mettle. ” – Crooked Marquee, 11/19/2021

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GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE

“A dungeon of necrophilia, Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a handy exegesis of everything wrong with contemporary cinema and proof positive that fandom is a pestilence. It strip-mines a nostalgia for something that never existed and treats with pseudo-religious reverence the events of a movie in which a ghost blew Dan Aykroyd in a firehouse.” – North Shore Movies, 11/19/2021

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ZEROS AND ONES

“I couldn’t tell you with any degree of confidence what the hell is happening from scene to scene, but in its own grasping, uniquely inarticulate fashion, the film captures something elusive and frightening about the way the world felt last year during lockdown. Not ‘a pandemic movie’ per se, but one possessed of the historical moment’s woozy instability.” – North Shore Movies, 11/19/2021

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KING RICHARD

“It’s an excellent performance, reminding us how insanely charismatic Smith can be. But it’s also a fawning tongue bath of a movie, executive produced by the Williams sisters themselves, with every scene designed to remind you of their father’s apparent omnipotence and heroic determination in the face of adversity. They could have just bought him a tie.” – North Shore Movies, 11/19/2021

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THE POWER OF THE DOG

”I thought I had it all figured out, but Campion’s film blossoms into something far stranger and more seductive than its synopsis might suggest. A hothouse psychodrama about performative masculinity and the personas we put on so as not to feel so alone, it’s a menacing movie, thick with an atmosphere of lurid homoeroticism and repressed longing.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 11/16/2021

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