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The Drop

Film noir, and the hardboiled fiction that inspires much of it, is about the losers of the world. No question, Brooklyn bartender Bob Saginowski is one of those.


Australian writer-director Aaron Wilson’s vividly riveting Canopy exemplifies the powerful visceral resources motion pictures can deploy. Canopy unfolds like a dream experience, and if for much of its short length (84 minutes) this can seem a nightmarish one, the movie is also almost mesmerizingly beautiful.

The Trip to Italy

In a letter to a friend, Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote, “The demon of mistrust and pride lurks between two persons in our situation.” He was referring to himself and Lord Byron. This certainly doesn’t describe the bromantic relationship between Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in The Trip to Italy, the sequel to The Trip (2011). I only bring it up because the two comic actors keep bringing up those two nineteenth century English poets as they motor through Italy to sightseeing destinations, including Shelley’s grave. This visit might make one wonder why, subsequently, Coogan gets Shelley’s age at his demise wrong during one of his breezy cultural observations to Brydon. No matter. I mean, nothing in particular much matters in this amiable cinematic trifle. It’s all streaming acting-out, largely irrelevant commentary, and the more-or-less charming chit-chat.

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