SEMI-TOUGH: JULES AND JIM ON THE 30 YARD LINE

“Ritchie keeps a polite distance from the novel’s more notorious shenanigans. Football is a backdrop instead of the film’s focus, and you’ve never seen a SuperBowl treated so nonchalantly. Fans of the book found the adaptation treasonous, but others were beguiled by the offbeat rhythms and an airy, almost European approach to such a distinctly American game.” – Crooked Marquee, 05/13/2022

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OUT OF THE BLUE AT THE BRATTLE

“A masterpiece of alienation returns in all its ragged, unseemly glory. The movie means to be Hopper’s reckoning with the legacy his generation has left for their children, and as far as metaphors go, the original Easy Rider wiping out a bus full of kids while he was wasted isn’t exactly a subtle one. But then, we never admired Dennis Hopper for his understatement.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 05/11/2022

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MALIGNANT MOMS AT THE COOLIDGE

“I think Dunaway’s actually pretty great in Mommie Dearest, going for broke with a baroquely stylized turn a galaxy away from the low-key naturalism so fashionable in boring biopics intending to bring icons down to earth. She’s not just playing Joan Crawford, she’s playing a larger-than-life idea of Crawford as imagined by someone who grew up seeing her on a giant screen.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 05/06/2022

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INLAND EMPIRE RETURNS TO THE BRATTLE

“The films of David Lynch vibrate on a frequency of intense dread, one that’s often counterbalanced by equally intense expressions of innocence, purity and love that would seem laughably corny if they weren’t so hard-won. Inland Empire is strictly the scary stuff, his most heartless, hopeless movie. And perhaps tellingly, to date his last.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 05/04/2022

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PERIOD PIECE: TURNING RED WITH BRIAN DE PALMA’S CARRIE

“The half-kidding nature of Carrie’s opening is emblematic of De Palma’s overripe, sensuous sensibility, a naughty boy’s luscious leering with just enough self-awareness to have his cake and eat it, too. He’s smart about being sleazy, always up for using gratuitous nudity as commentary on female objectification, while at the same time reveling in tawdry delights.” – Crooked Marquee, 04/22/2022

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A STRING OF PEARLS TO AN APE: JOHN FRANKENHEIMER’S THE TRAIN

“It’s a thrillingly visceral experience, but also one with a questioning, philosophical soul. The Train was the last studio action extravaganza to be shot in black-and-white, and the shades of gray suit the murky moral inquiries. It’s a movie about foolhardy heroes and grand, symbolic gestures, wondering aloud if art and culture are really worth dying for. And if not, what is? ” – Crooked Marquee, 04/08/2022

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CHRIS ROCK: LIVE IN BOSTON AFTER THE SLAP HEARD ROUND THE WORLD

“Rock’s fury was focused on performative outrage and empty, politically correct gestures, spitting fire at corporations like Lululemon, which put up signs in their stores congratulating themselves for standing against racism while selling $100 yoga pants. Most folks, the comedian countered, would be fine with $20 yoga pants that said the n-word once in a while.” – Rolling Stone, 03/31/2022

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WHY I’M NOT WATCHING THE OSCARS THIS YEAR

“The prevailing wisdom within the Academy seems to be that regular folks don’t care about these categories, because I guess boring stuff like editing, production design, original score and sound aren’t important aspects of the cinematic experience. Audiences will instead be indulged this year with new awards sourced on Twitter, of all godforsaken places.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 03/24/2022

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THE FILMS OF FLORA GOMES AT THE HFA

“The calendar kicks off welcoming writer-director Flora Gomes. The 72-year-old, Bissau-Guinean filmmaker studied in Cuba under the legendary Santiago Álvarez and worked as an assistant to French New Wave master Chris Marker, before returning to his homeland to make a series of powerful pictures confronting the legacy of Portuguese colonial rule.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 03/22/2022

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A BETTER WAY TO FIGHT A WAR: THE DIRTY DOZEN

“It’s a war movie for people disgusted by war, fed up with battlefield myths about valor and noble sacrifice. It’s about cheating and breaking bullshit rules and killing the enemy in cold blood because you can and because you have to. It’s a movie where death is ugly and everywhere and only the meanest, most irredeemable sons of bitches survive, if they’re lucky.” – Crooked Marquee, 03/18/2022

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