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Babyteeth rate me!
Da 5 Bloods 4
Deerskin 3
Good Woman Is Hard to Find, A 4
High Note, The 2
How to Build a Girl rate me!
Infamous (2020) rate me!
Military Wives rate me!
Six Billion Dollar Man, The rate me!
Spaceship Earth rate me!
Trip to Greece, The 5
True History of the Kelly Gang rate me!
Valley Girl (2020) rate me!
Wretched, The 3.5
"Time Has Come Today"
4 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "For about its first hour, Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods,” his first feature since winning his long-overdue competitive Oscar for “BlacKkKlansman,” is a spellbinding stretch of filmmaking as good as anything that he has ever done before in his career—it puts a new and audacious spin on some familiar cinematic tropes, it gathers together a number of strong and compelling performances and it is presented in a stylistically dynamic manner that reminds you that you are in the hands of a master filmmaker who is not afraid to try new things even at a point when they could comfortably rest on their laurels and no one would take any issue. The trouble is that the film runs for 155 minutes and it is at about this point that it starts becoming very uneven as moments of great emotional power and angry social commentary rub shoulders uneasily with far more conventional and far less interesting B-movie thrills and histrionics. The end result is a film is not a great Lee film on the order of “Do the Right Thing,” “Bamboozled” and “BlacKkKlansman” but the combination of the stuff that does work and Lee’s uncanny ability to make a movie whose ideas and concerns feel absolutely in sync with this particular moment in time, even though it was obviously made months ago, gives it the kind of spark that hasn’t been seen in a major film since “Parasite.”" (more)
"Turns Out It Doesn't Suck"
3 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "When Paul Verhoeven’s “Showgirls” detonated in theaters a quarter-century ago, it was considered to be an epic study in campy sleaze that brought new meaning to the word “overwrought”—and this was from the few brave souls at the time who dared to admit that they liked it on some level. Most, however, dismissed it as vile, sexist trash that could be appreciated only as a supremely gonzo example of the kind of movie that is so outrageously awful that it can only be considered as the type of film that is so awful in so many ways that its sheer badness exerts a certain grandeur. However, what if “Showgirls” is not merely an exercise in camp excess but is actually a smartly made and deliberately provocative work that continues to challenge viewers expecting some kind of brainless exercise in gratuitous T&A?" (more)
"a.k.a. C.H.A.D."
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "“The King of Staten Island” is a film that asks audiences to spend 136 minutes inside the psyche of Pete Davidson—the gangly and heavily tattooed performer on “Saturday Night Live” who is probably more famous for his backstory (as a child growing up in Staten Island, he lost his firefighter father on 9/11) and his current dating history than his punchlines—in order to speculate on how he might have turned out if he hadn’t turned to comedy to bring some sort of focus to his life. The resulting film is not strictly biographical but then again, it isn’t much of a movie either—it feels more like an elaborate therapy session than anything else. Clearly director/co-writer Judd Apatow was hoping that making another film based on the talents and perspective of a unique comedic talent outside of his usual group of colleagues would yield results as strong as his last movie, the genuinely hilarious and heartfelt “Trainwreck.” With that film, of course, he had the good fortune to work with Amy Schumer, someone who actually had something new and intriguing to say with her comedy and the acting chops that allowed her to deliver a performance that showed her capable of doing more than just delivering jokes. This time around, Apatow is not so lucky and while the film does have some nice moments and a couple of big laughs here and there, it is largely an unfocused and lightly excruciating work that eventually feels more like “Good Will Hunting” with fewer laughs and even less in the way of dramatic resolution." (more)
"Not your average biopic."
4 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "The stories of Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) are enjoying a bit of a fresh wash and airing out lately, what with recent treatments of 'The Haunting of Hill House,' 'We Have Always Lived in the Castle,' and (on deck) “The Lottery.” So it’s not surprising that the experimental/instinctive filmmaker Josephine Decker ('Madeline’s Madeline') got the go-ahead to make a movie about Jackson." (more)

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