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Kramer vs Kramer (1979)
There are three sides to this love story.
Director: Robert Benton
Drama

Ted Kramer is a career man for whom his work comes before his family. His wife Joanna cannot take this anymore, so she decides to leave him. Ted is now faced with the tasks of housekeeping and taking care of himself and their young son Billy.

Split Decision This drama is considered successful. I think it is not because it tells us anything special, or that the characters are particularly worthy. I believe it is because of the way the narrative is constructed. It has two arcs. One of these has the husband establishing...


Published February 27, 2023
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Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
A roaring rampage of revenge.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Action
Crime

An assassin is shot by her ruthless employer, Bill, and other members of their assassination circle – but she lives to plot her vengeance.

God Gets Cut The title of the comment is from the ersatz master who makes a new sword for our avenger. This denotes what is wrong about this film, indeed why Tarantino is to film as Brittany Spears is to music. Martial arts are about generational wisdom,...


Published February 27, 2023
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Kick-Ass (2012)
Shut up. Kick-Ass.
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Action
Crime

Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a super-hero, even though he has no powers, training or meaningful reason to do so.

Drawing One’s Self I saw this fellow’s last movie. “Stardust.” It was an idea full of potential but lacked coherence, soul. It took you a world (two worlds) that were puddles created by each craft. This is less incoherent, but still has no intent, no imperative...


Published February 27, 2023
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Krull (1983)
A world light-years beyond your imagination.
Director: Peter Yates
Action
Adventure
Fantasy
Science Fiction

A prince and a fellowship of companions set out to rescue his bride from a fortress of alien invaders who have arrived on their home planet.

Organic There may still be people who watch projects like this for adventure. Heck, there are even people who get their theology from such stuff, currently “Rings” and “Matrix.” But for me, the allure is a matter of style. This film was conceived in the shadow of 1979s...


Published February 26, 2023
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The Lego Movie (2014)
The story of a nobody who saved everybody.
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Animation
Family
Adventure
Comedy
Fantasy

An ordinary Lego mini-figure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil Lego tyrant from conquering the universe.

Gamer Gate The outer story is about a kid and his dad who doesn't understand play. An inner story has tokens that elaborate on this, a story that is mostly flashiness. The animation is based on Lego and I am sure there is a large franchise...


Published February 26, 2023
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Lady Maiko (2014)
What does it take to be a lady?
Director: Masayuki Suō
Comedy
Drama
Music

Country bumpkin Haruko only ever wanted to become a maiko, an apprentice geisha. Initially rebuffed for lack of references, Haruko's strong accent intrigues a linguistics professor, who undertakes to coach her.

Adaptation The story itself is about adapting from a not ideal Japanese state to the purest state, a Geisha. In Japan, the rural north is considered to consist of country bumpkins, something like in the US we associate with the South. A Geisha’s training includes many...


Published February 24, 2023
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Murder by the Book (1967)
Director: Mel Damski
Comedy
Crime
Mystery
Thriller
TV Movie

Mild-mannered mystery writer D. H. Mercer has become so immersed in his material that his creation, hard-boiled private eye Biff Deegan, constantly appears to him as a hallucination. Intent on getting rid of Biff, and replacing him with a more civilized detective, Mercer soon finds himself in a genuine mystery involving art fraud, murder, and a beautiful lady in peril.

Double Folds This isn’t worth watching for what it is, but I count it as a notable example, more so because it is a cheap TeeVee production with low aspirations. The overall story is about art forgery. The structure is adventuresome. The story we see is written...


Published February 24, 2023
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Oblivion (2013)

Appropriated Appropriateness One measure of a science fiction movie is whether the science and fiction are coherent. I’ve been following the Hunger Games saga and this is driving me crazy. Some technology is advanced, some adopted from the sixties. In good hands, like with Nolan’s Interstellar,...


Published February 19, 2023
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Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Intelligent Agency I was impressed by a few features of the first one. Most notably, it was a risk for them to adopt and extend a certain cinematic technique in such a high risk project. I wrote about the effect: having battle scenes with only a...


Published February 18, 2023
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All that Jazz (1979)
All that work. All that glitter. All that pain. All that love. All that crazy rhythm. All that jazz.
Director: Bob Fosse
Drama

Joe Gideon is at the top of the heap, one of the most successful directors and choreographers in musical theater. But he can feel his world slowly collapsing around him - his obsession with work has almost destroyed his personal life, and only his bottles of pills keep him going.

Your Death Having just watched an energetic, colourful film on the overlap between life and death, I had to revisit this one from my past. It was one of my early experiences in folded narrative: • a film about a man written and directed by that very...


Published February 14, 2023
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