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lion lies down with lamb, details at 11

what i watched last week

The Counterfeiters. Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film. Based on a memoir by a fairly typical hero of Holocaust dramas, an idealist who tries to sabotage Nazi efforts to produce enough counterfeit English and American money to destroy their economies. The film moves this hero to the side ... the central character becomes the best counterfeiter in the world, whose moral perspective is more complex. The movie is the better for this shift. 8/10.

Reservoir Dogs. As good as ever, except by this point, the ear-slicing seems gratuitous. And yes, I'm aware many people figured this out the first time they saw it. 8/10.

The Long Hot Summer. Not what you'd call great Faulkner, it's actually closer to Tennessee Williams. Orson Welles has really odd makeup, and the movie's ending is so happy it's creepy. But it's an entertaining film. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward married when they were done making this one. 7/10.

Shine a Light. Everything you've heard is true. Scorsese manages to create a sense of intimacy, which is, of course, thrown off by the fact that one is never truly intimate with Mick Jagger. It is exquisitely filmed and sounds terrific, the band is indeed ancient but Blu-ray brings out the charm in the creases of their faces. Just like Keith predicted so long ago, they're like old blues guy who just keep playing until they die, because that's what they do. Buddy Guy adds his own brand of charisma, Jack White looks very glad to be there, and Christina Aguilera does fine in her toe-to-toe rumble with Mick on "Live With Me" (although this is also the one time when age matters ... it's kinda creepy when "Mick" hits on "Xtina"). Early on, Mick almost seems to be doing an imitation of David Johansen, which is kinda interesting, but eventually he settles on an imitation of Mick Jagger, and hey, nobody does it better. The main problem is that the film documents artists who retain a certain vitality, and who have a great back catalog to work from, but who don't really matter any longer. Which isn't their fault, and most bands never matter in the first place. But, as I am fond of saying when trying to explain both the times and the band, there really was a time when "Sympathy for the Devil" was appropriate, timely, and accurate. Now, it's a singalong. 7/10.

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