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  • The Dead Don't Die

    The Dead Don't Die

    ★★★★

    Not subtle, and that's the point. Weaponizes the Jarmusch aesthetic in a new way. A languid, laconic film about languid complacence, about Americans' under-reaction and inaction in response to gross, unsubtle forces of destruction. That the movie is so charming and funny almost works against what it has on its mind.

    Of course other filmmakers have used the zombie genre to depict these themes before, without heavy hands. But I think what Jarmusch is pointing out here is that apparently…

  • Men in Black: International

    Men in Black: International

    ★★½

    Of all the middle-of-the-road movies I've seen, this might be the middlest. Ended 15 minutes ago and I remember exactly one thing about it, a single great joke.

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  • Gravity

    Gravity

    Likely the greatest technical achievement in the history of cinema up to this point. Also profoundly stupid. What a massive waste of talent and craftsmanship.

    Every time the plot builds any momentum it quickly undercuts itself with one or a combination of the following:

    a.) Insulting, hackneyed dialogue
    b.) Heavy-handed, manipulative, obligatory characterization
    c.) Murphy's law plot contrivances, over and over and over
    d.) Astonishingly casual sexism

    Perhaps the biggest problem is that the filmmakers know better. Alfonso Cuarón made…

  • Shazam!

    Shazam!

    ★★★★

    One of my students also saw this last night. She's a sweet, tiny third-grader currently in her ninth foster home. I haven't met her foster parents in person, but they seem rad; they've introduced her to Tim Burton movies and David Bowie. They also took her to a sneak preview of Shazam!. Anyway. This girl was exploding with joy about this movie, bursting with excitement to tell me about it. She thought it was so cool that the superhero was…