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Favorite Movies A-Z: The Empire Strikes Back

Perhaps it falls under “damning with faint praise”, but this is the best movie in what has become a sprawling, bloated, incomprehensible monstrosity of a “universe”. It’s a relic of a leaner, more thoughtful, artistic time. It might be lacking, but it had aspirations and made the effort and I’ll always have a soft spot for fine craftsmanship even if it doesn’t quite rise to the level of art.

Favorite Movies A-Z: The Emperor’s New Groove

There are some serious plot holes, but if you’re coming to a Disney animated film for strict narrative consistency, well that seems like a reason for some introspection on your part. The movie follows a pretty simple plot, at least in the broad strokes: spoiled royal learns virtue and humility through adversity and companionship with a noble peasant. The genius is in the details and in the characters.

Favorite Movies A-Z: Early Summer

Unlike other notable Ozu movies, say Late Spring and Tokyo Story, this ends on a happier note. It is not storybook, nor Hollywood happy, but upbeat nonetheless. Instead of closing with the struggle and loneliness that is sometimes an inevitable part of life, we conclude with the bittersweet joy of being reminded that life carries on despite the changes we encounter.

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