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  • Cruella

    Cruella

    ★★

    Content. To the degree that the film has personality, it's both secondhand (Gillespie throwing another Scorsese costume party, with a truly laughable soundtrack of exhausted jukebox needle drops) and just an accent, in the same way that the funkier Marvel movies drop a mustache or a funny hat on a rigid formula. I enjoyed the Emmas sniping at each other, essentially doing dueling Cruellas, but even that feels relentlessly focus-grouped, a result of market research that confirmed that, yes, Cruella…

  • Searching

    Searching

    ★★★½

    Not as conceptually daring or clever as Unfriended—the film cheats a little on its premise, slathering non-diegetic music over the action to make it more conventionally cinematic, and zooming in close on details or certain quadrants of the screen to guide our attention, instead of just asking us to process the information normally, like we would on our laptops. But I’m still very much in the tank for Screenlife, a storytelling gimmick that’s revitalized the way films can present exposition.…

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  • ParaNorman

    ParaNorman

    ★★★★

    "What do you think you're doing firing on civilians? That's for the police to do!"

  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

    The Trial of the Chicago 7

    ★★½

    Full A.V. Club review. Sorkin is basically a sanctimonious centrist, which for my money makes him the wrong person to tackle this material. Setting aside its insufficiently radical sensibility, I just couldn't stomach all of the Hollywood dramatic liberties, like Dellinger losing his cool in court and briefly abandoning his pacifist values, while his impressionable son watches on with shock and dismay. Also, it's just not as sharp and witty as Sorkin's best political theatre; if you're going to pander to the cheap seats in the gallery, at least bring your "Two Cathedrals" A game.