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  • Thief

    Thief

    ★★★★★

    “I can see my money is still in your pocket, which is from the yield of my labor.” 

    The 80s are famous for hyper masculine heroes going on rampages. There’s a lot of food for thought with this trend, even though these films usually don’t offer much in the way of cogent ideology. You do sometimes get a figure like Rambo who (at least in the first film) represents the hardworking people that those in power have used and abused,…

  • Father of the Bride Part II

    Father of the Bride Part II

    ★★½

    It says a lot about American propaganda that even a modest piece of nostalgia porn like this takes a few cheap, strange potshots at Iranians. And I legitimately can’t tell what nationality Martin Short is supposed to be playing. He’s like a liberace-style gay Romanian? Maybe? Jesus, there’s a random encounter with some LA cholos too? This is an oddly racist movie even for the 90s.

     Largely because it’s a remake of the 50s movie, this is one of the…

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  • Seven Samurai

    Seven Samurai

    ★★★★★

    It disturbs me that George Lucas watched this and thought to himself, “okay I’ll take the screen wipes, the swordplay, and the complex economic issues (for the prequels), but let’s get rid of the beautiful portraits of humanity and the incredibly poignant sense of communal duty.”

    Toshiro Mifune’s big monologue is a showstopper. His character is original and compelling, both a fool and a shamanic figure; the way he unites people through his inhaling and expelling their shared, unspoken anxieties…

  • Once Upon a Time in America

    Once Upon a Time in America

    ★★★★★

    A Masterpiece. A one of a kind. They truly do not make em like they used to. Leone takes the crutches of melodrama, whittles them into bows, and plucks at the heart like only a virtuoso can. His lingering shots and musical swells give such a deep resonance to the characters and the world of the film, and he simultaneously renders the magic of a period while bringing to life the modernity of the era. The story is Dickensian without…