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    Sunday, July 21, 2024

    Tipping Point: Our picks and pans


    Past Lives

    This is the kind of movie whose power sneaks up on you. Scenes and images kept wafting back to me days after it was over. Credit goes to director/writer Celine Song, who does a masterful job of creating a rich tale and subtly tracking characters’ shifting and often unspoken emotions. A boy and girl growing up in South Korea have crushes on each other, but they lose touch when her family moves to Canada. A dozen years later, they reconnect via Skype. Their attraction is clear, but she breaks off their communication, saying she needs to focus on her career as a playwright. Another 12 years later, he comes to visit her in New York City. She’s now married, and the interplay between all three characters is complex – deeply felt and deeply human. The tremendous acting by Greta Lee, Teo Yoo and John Magaro should open up all sorts of opportunities for them, at least if life and showbiz is fair. (Local interest alert: The playwright character carries a Eugene O’Neill Theater Center bag at one brief point.)

    – Kristina Dorsey


    Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

    It was on our first visit, years ago, to Vermont, that my wife and I discovered something called Truckers Cheese, which is ludicrously sharp. I’m not sure why professional long-haulers as a group have developed a taste for peel-the-paint-sharp cheese but I guess they have. Also, Truckers Cheese is for some reason exclusive to Vermont, so the titular drivers have to drive a ways to get it. Anyway, we were impressed by Truckers Cheese, but not enough to drive to Vermont every time we run out. Instead, we’ve long enjoyed Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar, which is still significantly sharp. And now Cabot — was Mr. Cabot a trucker before becoming a cheesemonger? — has crafted a snack popcorn infused with his seriously sharp cheddar. Fantastic! Chew a few 4.5 ounce bags on your next drive to Vermont. Find ’em at Big Y and CVS for $3.99.

    — Rick Koster


    Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

    I hate to say it, but this send-off to one of the great movie characters is underwhelming. There are a lot of action sequences, but they feel conventional rather than inventive. And the story is the usual mumbo jumbo about an invention could change the world. The best thing here is, no surprise, Harrison Ford. Even at age 81, he’s magnetic, and his gruff sense of sarcasm is unrivaled. (The technology they used to de-age him for flashbacks works much better now than it did with Robert De Niro in 2019’s “The Irishman.”) And Phoebe Waller-Bridge is out of her element as Indy’s grown goddaughter, who is not on the up-and-up.

    – Kristina Dorsey

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