Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron is…well put-together, often impressive and sometimes enjoyable, and it doesn’t linger in the mind or the imagination. It’s movie pulp, entirely appropriate for a comic book adaptation. It seems clear Whedon knows all this, which might make him some kind of subversive genius…The best moments (the parts everybody talks about) are the silly (and inexpensive) ones – affectionate winks at the source material and meta jokes about the ridiculous constructs of a franchise tentpole.

[Amblin’] was shot in 1968, when Spielberg was 21, and is considered his first 35-mm film…Spielberg wrote, directed, and edited the film; it contains recognizable hallmarks (technical and thematic) – someone who didn’t know it was Spielberg’s would probably say it was influenced by him.

I love this movie. My high school English teacher played it for us just before Christmas, over three classes. It was one of the most educational moments I remember from that class. It’s about a guy who always sacrifices for everyone else and never realizes how good he is, or how good he’s got it.

Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, based on Lawrence Wright’s 2013 book, has the potential to rock your world. Although South Park’s brilliant Trapped in the Closet already covered the same ground, Going Clear features stellar interviews with a handful of ex-Scientologists. If a 21-minute cartoon parody doesn’t convince you that Scientology is batshit crazy, see this film. Beware: by the end, you’ll question a lot more than just Scientology.

Eighth in a series of “throwback” posts. The Godfather is the movie that sparked my interest in criticism. When I saw it, I went to the library and started reading volumes from the Contemporary Literary Criticism series. This might be my first written review – in any case, it’s the earliest one I still have.

In Hindsight: As I transcribe these throwback reviews from yellowing dot matrix printouts, I get a clearer picture of my young adult mind…The Untouchables is NOT “the first time [De Palma had] everything working just right” – that would be Blow Out (1981).

In Hindsight: This is the first “throwback” movie I haven’t seen since I originally wrote about it. I purchased the DVD years ago and haven’t watched it. The Deer Hunter is known for its Russian roulette sequences. I became aware of the movie when an older boy in our town died, specifically imitating scenes in the film. I find it curious that I didn’t address the tragedy when I wrote this, because it’s the reason I watched. I don’t remember being upset by the news (I didn’t know him) but my ambivalence suggests otherwise.

Another movie you should see except it’s pretty boring is Still Alice, which is very realistic and exactly what happened when my uncle had alzeimers disease, which makes you forget things and people except things that happened to you a long time ago. Sometimes we need to see movies like this to understand things that other people go through in their lives. If you don’t want to see it which I totally understand maybe you can see a different movie but just go a little early and sneak in to see part of Still Alice, which is what I did. I think that is still o.k. because it’s not like the movie is selling out or anything.