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12/12/14 11:30am
12/12/2014 11:30 AM |

inherent vice-phoenix

When I saw Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice at the New York Film Festival a couple of months ago, I stumbled out in an appropriate but not entirely enjoyable haze. I liked so much of what I just watched, but I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it as a whole—and this coming from someone who loves movies about unlicensed private detectives and had no real trouble with PTA’s more superficially mysterious The Master the first time around. I almost always see Anderson’s movies a second time theatrically, and then a third or fourth or fifth time on DVD, but while I wanted another hit of Vice for the sheer enjoyment of its celluloid cinematography, Joaquin Phoenix slapstick, and Anderson eccentricity, I also felt like I needed another go-round, just to try to wave through the fog it left in my brain (and I saw it stone-cold sober)—that the movie demanded another viewing.

It’s a demand I tend to resist, at least on principle.

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12/03/14 4:00am
12/03/2014 4:00 AM |

Photo courtesy of FOX

 

Exodus: Gods and Kings
Directed by Ridley Scott
Opens December 12

Who knew Sir Ridley had a goofy biblical spectacular in him? The mega-budgeted Exodus: Gods and Kings elicits plenty of (unintentional?) giggles at the start with the casting of John Turturro as a Hebrew-killing pharaoh. But this is actually the rather dynamic and very handsomely mounted tale of the rivalry between the despotic ruler’s son Rhamses (guylined and bronzed-all-over Joel Edgerton) and Moses (charismatic Christian Bale), an adopted child of Egyptian royalty with a most prophetic destiny. Moses supposes (erroneously) that his loyalties lie with the sovereignty. In truth, he is the divinity-dictated leader of the many Judaic slaves (a squandered Aaron Paul and Ben Kingsley among them) longing to resettle in Canaan across the Red Sea.

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