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  • Devil in a Blue Dress

    Devil in a Blue Dress

    ★★★★½

    Director Carl Franklin’s Devil in a Blue Dress opens with a shot of a Black neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. The hustle and bustle is there as DP Tak Fujimoto’s camera cranes up, winding around a building before moving through a window. Inside, it is a bar with Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins (Denzel Washington) sitting down, scanning a newspaper for job opportunities. He recently lost his because he showed up late for work. Now, his life hangs in the balance. Two…

  • Watermelon Man

    Watermelon Man

    ★★★★

    Jeff Gerber (Godfrey Cambridge) is a racist. He may cover it up in “jokes” or off-color comments that he tries to play off with “no offense” caveats, but make no mistake: he hates Black people. Just see how he reacts to news stories about riots and how he calls them “uppity blacks” for daring to want an equal society. In all corners of his life, he is obnoxious. His workout routine at home is exhaustive and exhausting to watch. On…

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  • Act of Violence

    Act of Violence

    ★★★★½

    The 1940s: 47/100
    1949 Ranked

    What a picture. Not a single second is wasted in Fred Zinnemann’s Act of Violence, a film about World War II demons following a guilty man home. Frank Enley (Van Heflin) is waiting. He has spent his years since returning from the home trying to make amends in his own way. His business is a fixture in the community and everyone knows his name. He is revered in Santa Lisa, with a wonderful wife in…

  • Born to Be Bad

    Born to Be Bad

    ★★★★

    The 1950s: 98/100
    1950 Ranked

    Nick: “Seen the view?”
    Christabel: “Yeah”
    Nick: “It’s better with me.”

    Directed by Nicholas Ray, Born to Be Bad is a lot of fun. Sure, it is not In a Lonely Place, but watching Joan Fontaine twist men into knots, Robert Ryan with definite “big dick energy”, and biting dialogue, is sure to be a great time. It follows young Christabel Caine (Fontaine). Her parents died in her youth, leaving her with two options: her…

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    2016 Ranked
    Top 100 Films
    Seen in Theaters

    Postmodernism is a film theory that suggests that there is nothing original anymore. If it could be made, it has been made and we are doomed to simply remake a once original idea in perpetuity. Postmodernism also includes ideas regarding nostalgia and hyperreality, positing that cities such as Los Angeles may physically be real, but are in fact, dream worlds that are not actually there. In Damien Chazelle's latest work and, dare…

  • Once Upon a Time in America

    Once Upon a Time in America

    ★★½

    Checking in at just under four hours, Once Upon a Time in America takes a long time to say absolutely nothing unique. A gangster film, the film does nothing for the gangster genre that could not be accomplished in a far shorter runtime because oh my God is this thing long. It just takes forever to end and even then, I still had no idea why it took so long. I love gangster films with The Godfather Parts I and…