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  • The Wind Rises

    The Wind Rises

    ★★★★★

    "Wait, is it just me, or is this movie super sad?" - me, three-quarters of the way into the movie.

    A staggering farewell from one of animation's biggest contributors. Everything about this movie worked for me. What I said initially when I watched Spirited Away applies much more to this film. It's the culmination of 35 years of filmmaking, and it feels like the perfect goodbye. Aviation, which has been a huge part of a lot of his previous films,…

  • Cinema Paradiso

    Cinema Paradiso

    ★★★★★

    Watched this with Ethan, who invited me as a guest on his Cineflek podcast last week.

    This is one of my favorite films of all time, a film I hold dearly in my heart. Growing up, I'd always hear my parents play the score of the film, and for what it's worth, I think it's Morricone's best, which is extremely impressive given his massive discography.

    Very rarely do I watch a movie that I feel truly understands who I am.…

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  • Leaving Las Vegas

    Leaving Las Vegas

    ★★★★

    I love the way Mike Figgis captures Las Vegas nightlife. The colors shine bright in the 16mm photography, and the way it's edited makes it feel like a drunken daydream/nightmare. It's a lot less misery-porn than I expected, with a lot of really happy moments (surprisingly) interspersed between all the depressing shit that happens to Nic Cage's character.

    The emotions hit hard, especially during the end, but I do have my gripes with the writing. The unseen-psychiatrist plot device got…

  • The Devil's Advocate

    The Devil's Advocate

    ★★★

    *Keanu Reeves puts Charlize Theron's entire big toe in his mouth*

    Tarantino: BRILLIANT! WRITE THAT SHIT DOWN!

    This is a film firmly rooted in the '90s. Everything about it just feels cheesy and over-the-top, but leave it to Pacino and Reeves to really amplify this film. The film is just fun enough to keep me watching, and despite its long runtime, I was never bored, even if it didn't blow me away.

    This is really when Pacino started to act…

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  • The Long Goodbye

    The Long Goodbye

    ★★★½

    Second Altman film after Gosford Park. Definitely like this one more, but I'm still not fully on board with his shit yet. I loved the opening scene with his cat, and there's a really neat set-up for this film, but... the movie didn't grab me the way I really wanted it to. From a plot perspective, I think it's fun but nothing out of the ordinary. The characters are quite memorable, but the overall atmosphere of the film just felt…

  • Another Round

    Another Round

    ★★★★½

    Thomas Vinterberg is back. As to date, this seems like the most successful implementation of the Dogme 95 movement that him and LVT started. The constant handheld and non-flashy lighting makes the movie feel naturalistic rather than distracting (Dancer in the Dark).

    The movie tackles themes of aging, alcoholism, and mid-life crisis and combines them perfectly together in this film. During one man's 40th birthday, the idea of being consistently inebriated is brought up, and another character immediately tests this…