ARE SNAKES NECESSARY?

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“I kept seeing these characters as played by members of De Palma’s regular stock company, with roles for Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, Gregg Henry and Melanie Griffith. The penultimate chapter so resembles one of the director’s distended, crosscut climactic montages that a character even says it feels like they’re seeing it in slow-motion.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 03/31/2020

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QUARANTINE DOUBLE FEATURE: THE COMFORT OF CHRISTOPHER WALKEN

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King Of New York is a rotgut update of 1930s gangster movie tropes, while The Comfort Of Strangers is a lush literary adaptation drenched in Euro-arthouse perversity. What the pictures have in common are knockout lead performances by Walken, leaning into his outré eccentricities like he’s just arrived from outer space. You can’t take your eyes off him.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 03/27/2020

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THE JESUS ROLLS

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“Turturro sprints haphazardly through Blier’s loosey-goosey narrative, rushing down an obligatory checklist of Lebowski references early on as if getting them out of the way, before ditching the bowling alley altogether for a progression of atonal episodes (and usually group sex) with celebrity guest stars and famous friends of the filmmaker.” – North Shore Movies, 03/27/2020

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BACURAU

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”The rococo wonders of Bacurau, with its naked elderly folks wielding shotguns in the shower and a drone camera disguised as a 1950s sci-fi movie flying saucer, are in the service of an underlying optimism that frankly feels like a balm right now. We might all be off the map at the moment, but this movie reminds us that we’ve still got each other.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 03/25/2020

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SAINT FRANCES

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“O’Sullivan’s screenplay neatly sidesteps the cliches inherent in its narrative hook. But her most astute observation is that everybody’s faking it to some degree or another, and if we all could be more open about our shortcomings then, in Bridget’s words, ‘maybe women wouldn’t feel so f–kin’ lonely all the time.’ This is the kind of movie that makes you feel less lonely.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 03/25/2020

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CONTENGEN: DAY 4

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For his new podcast my One Heat Minute buddy Blake Howard has been calling film critic pals around the world to chat for ten minutes about life in isolation during the COVID-19 crisis. We discuss social distancing, drive-ins and our usual bullshit. I don’t think we shared much in the way of useful information but it sure was good to hear from a friend.ConTENgen, 03/21/2020

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BLOW THE MAN DOWN

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“Potboilers are my preferred comfort food, and this nifty Maine-set murder mystery hit the spot. It’s a New England spin on the Coen brothers’ Rube Goldberg crime contraptions with a welcome feminist bent, though Krudy and Cole are less enamored of the Fargo filmmakers’ cosmic absurdity and a bit more sympathetic to their characters’ predicaments.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 03/20/2020

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BIG TIME ADOLESCENCE

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“It took me a while to come around on Pete Davidson, but seeing Big Time Adolescence at Sundance last year really won me over. He’s got the zonked, wiseacre affectlessness of vintage Bill Murray but with a post-millennial fragility; cocky in a manner that comes off as deeply, touchingly insecure. He’s an underachiever for an anxious age.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 03/19/2020

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THE HUNT

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“It pretends to be a political allegory but the shockingly shallow screenplay by Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof never engages with these characters’ beliefs long enough for the jokes to land as anything besides empty signifiers. It feels like someone took an old action movie script from the ‘80s and peppered it with buzzwords they picked up on Reddit.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 03/12/2020

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FIRST COW

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“Progress is on the march, in ways both great and small. Since this is a Kelly Reichardt picture the emphasis is on the small, telling a tiny story about forgotten people with the deceptive simplicity of a folk tale. But don’t be fooled by this movie’s modest demeanor. It’s a glimpse of America in the process of becoming itself, for better and worse.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 03/11/2020

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