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  • Kiki's Delivery Service

    Kiki's Delivery Service

    ★★★★

    Charming, light. Definitely younger-skewing than some other Ghibli films but in a sincere way. No winks at adults in the audience or horrible, loud, screeching characters that seem to populate so much children’s media.

    A simple story about the first taste of independence, finding your own way, and learning that sometimes that means you need a little help from your friends. Full of small gestures of kindness, the movie is never really in a hurry despite Kiki constantly being on…

  • The Age of Innocence

    The Age of Innocence

    ★★★★½

    I love a good study in the secret languages of a society and the unwritten norms that prevent us from living our lives to the fullest. Kinetically directed, every minor look and gesture is given weight and meaning, and the luscious production design and cinematography provide a stark contrast to the strained state of mind the characters are masking.

    It makes me wonder about what things from today we’ll look back on and think “Hey! Just don’t do that!”

    Would make a great and shattering double feature with In the Mood for Love.

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  • Shazam!

    Shazam!

    ★★★

    It may have the look and feel of a CW superhero show but Shazam! has a surprising amount of heart, and the turn towards "fun" is a welcome one after all the decidedly not-fun DC movies (Man of Steel, BvS, Justice League, Suicide Squad).

    The kids are actually very endearing, and thematic arcs based around found families, and how those in positions of privilege and power (cis straight white men) can best overcome society's ills by elevating those less privileged…

  • Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    ★★★★★

    This is a beautiful, thoughtful, introspective movie about our roles as both deliverers and recipients of toxic masculinity. The vastness of space between father and son is a metaphor for the emotional distance between them. Yes it's another "sad dad in space" movie but one that actually cares to grapple with the cost of the "brilliant but distant father" trope. The physical journey to the edge of the solar system is matched by the internal journey of understanding oneself and the lessons that have been internalized through inherited trauma, learned behaviours, and societal reinforcement.