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SDG

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About SDG

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    http://decentfilms.com
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  • About my avatar
    Of Gods and Men (2010)

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  1. Chef absolutely should have made the list. That was a miss.
  2. SDG

    Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

    I wasn’t a fan, but I will say a word for it more than this: It didn’t make me want to close my eyes, especially when Rami Malek was onstage.
  3. I second Lean on Pete and Let the Sunshine In. I nominate Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (see especially Walter Chaw’s brilliant review).
  4. SDG

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    I find the animation style to be revolutionary and amazing. I saw it in 2D and can’t wait to see it in 3D as soon as possible. I know Jeff Overstreet and others feel similarly. There are tons of defenses and raves about the visual style. Walter Chaw of Film Freak Central (in a brilliant review the filmmakers singled out for high praise) very perceptively links the film’s visual style to its sci-fi premise, emotional themes, and moral outlook:
  5. SDG

    Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

    Love and Mercy is the obvious point of comparison to which I kept returning — and which I kept wishing I was watching. Another musical biopic about the inspired visionary in a pop band and the recording of their most artistically ambitious album, with subplots about the controlling, Svengali-like figure under whose sway the visionary falls until he is liberated by the intervention of the woman who loves him. But Love and Mercy was itself inspired and visionary, where Bohemian Rhapsody was dull, rote, and by the numbers.
  6. I loved Lean on Pete. It will definitely be on my top 10.
  7. SDG

    Dr Seuss' The Grinch (2018)

    It’s certainly true that a bad film, or bad things in one film, can highlight or make one more appreciative of a good film, or of good things in another film.
  8. SDG

    Dr Seuss' The Grinch (2018)

    My latest review … in Seussian rhyming anapestic tetrameter.
  9. SDG

    Dr Seuss' The Grinch (2018)

    So, I liked it better than you did, Ken. Caveat: I confess I don’t have quite the same attachment as you to the original story, although I certainly remember my parents reading it to me and I have certainly read it to my own kids. You’re right, of course, that this Grinch isn’t nearly as villainous as the Seuss character or the Chuck Jones version. That did occur to me as a potential problem while I was watching it. In the end, though, I decided I’m okay with it. I kind of like the little hints of conflict we see throughout as he struggles with his attraction to the thing he wants to hate. I’m reminded, too, of G.K. Chesterton’s revisionist take on Scrooge, whom Chesterton maintains was never such a scrooge as he purported to be. I especially appreciate the fact that when the Grinch comes riding back into Who-ville on Christmas morning, he doesn’t arrive expecting a hero’s welcome just for undoing the damage he did. He’s apologetic, expecting nothing. He goes back to his lair on Mount Crumpet. He doesn’t presume to join in the Who-celebration: He’s invited, against all expectations, out of the charity and goodness of the Whos, especially Cindy-Lou Who and her mom. In this election week, confronted with the unavoidable evidence that so many Americans are kind of okay with racism and misogyny and hostility to immigrants, it would be easy to feel that the welcoming, accommodating world of Who-ville — here depicted as a multiracial utopia in which everyone is accepted, even the creepy green outsider up on the mountain — lets us off the hook too easily. (MZS on Twitter the other day: “Hot take: everybody in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE would’ve voted for Trump, except for Mary and Clarence. Even George is a tossup.”) But of course that raises the specter of the Ron Howard version, which subjected Who-ville to another gleeful Hollywood send-up of The Hell That Is American Suburbia, a world of enforced conformity, materialism, bullying, and even sexual decadence (the key-party game). But this Who-ville shows us not what we are but what we ought to be. What’s wrong with that?
  10. SDG

    Dr Seuss' The Grinch (2018)

    I have some thoughts I will post in a couple of hours when I am no longer under embargo.
  11. SDG

    Examples of "Cinematic Parables"?

    Practically everything I think of fails to meet one of your criteria. Some chapters of The Decalogue would qualify, but that’s not exactly popular cinema. The Truman Show is parable-like, but not realistic in the way I think you want. How about Calvary? Is that popular enough?
  12. SDG

    Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc

    After the first half, I said to Suz, “If the second half is that good, this might be my favorite film of the year.” It wasn’t, unfortunately, but it’s still an amazing film that I can’t wait to see again.
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