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  • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

    She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

    ★★★½

    Gorgeous Technicolor and a real quality blu-ray release from the folks at the Warner Archive Collection.

    The film is a treat for John Wayne fans since it all revolves around him as he faces an exciting last week of service as Cavalry Captain Nathan Brittles before retirement. As a study of his character, it’s great. But in other areas it could use more rich character moments I’d expect from a Ford film. Two that stand out are a scene of surgery in a moving covered wagon and the “arrest” of McLaglen’s character.

  • Broadcast News

    Broadcast News

    ★★★★★

    The comedic counterpart to Network— with a script as good, just not as serious. And even if it didn’t have that, with performances and characters this outstanding and unique, the rest takes care of itself.

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  • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

    Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

    ★★★★½

    From everything I’d heard about MASTER AND COMMANDER, I expected it to be great. But it surprised me in many ways. Mostly, its maturity and quietness.

    There’re fewer naval battles than I expected and more time getting to know the crew and the period details of life on the ship.

    The sound design is masterful. The score only comes in at key moments, so you’re mostly hearing the waves crack and the ship’s creaks.

    Visually, the staging and cinematography make…

  • No Country for Old Men

    No Country for Old Men

    ★★★★★

    With the context of hindsight on our side, it’s safe to say that this is one of the best films of the 2000s.

    It’s startlingly effective in every sense—from the Coen brothers’ evocative writing and directing, to Roger Deakins’s cinematography, to the pacing, to the perfect casting, to the nuanced way that timeless themes of good vs. evil are explored.

    It’s a neowestern with a noir sensibility. Josh Brolin’s Llewelyn Moss is remiscent of a John Wayne-like character from a…