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Archive for December 13th, 2020

by Sam Juliano

Vaccines have been shipped to stateside destinations and are set to be injected to health care workers as early as Tuesday.  Finally we have reason to be optimistic, though currently rising numbers remain fearful.  Hoping many of our friends and readers are planning to avail themselves of this potentially live-saving proposition.  On Friday the Supreme Court may well have put the final nail in the coffin by rejecting the absurd lawsuit filed by Texas aimed at overturning election results in battleground states in one of the most heinous assaults on democracy in our nation’s history.  Though their final decision was really a no brainer, and anything but that decision would have turned the country upside down I still commend the conservative court for doing what was right and this included the three justices Trump appointed.

This past week film scholar and longtime site friend and contributor Duane Porter published a brilliant decade list that we so proud to have in our archives.  Also, J. D. Lafrance posted a fabulous review on Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Bille August.  Lucille and I saw a slew of films this past week and though I plan on elaborating for now I will just go with the five star rating scale for each and brief commentary.  I expected so much more from Steve McQueen’s spectacularly-praised Lovers Rock, but alas I found it significantly overrated and one-note.  Conversely I was never a big Kelly Reichardt fan so many others but now have finally found one that I thought exceptional, a film beautifully capturing the raw outdoors and one quietly enveloping (First Cow).  The film adaptation of the Broadway musical The Prom, with Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman among others had its moments, but overall it was musically pedestrian and largely squandered an interesting premise.  Spike Lee’s Vietnam War era set Da Five Bloods was largely gripping but also somewhat over the top, and it features a paranoia ridden great performance by Delroy Lindo, which for me echos in theme Humphrey Bogart’s in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.  The Italian film Martin Eden, which the New York Times called the best movie of the entire year has some standout scenes and was often beautiful to look at but it was too episodic and emotionally distancing for my taste, hence again a most overrated film. (more…)

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