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  • Aladdin

    Aladdin

    ★★★

    Aladdin had everything set up in order to be terrible. The vfx is cheesy and inconsistent, the marketing seemed to completely miss every mark, and the casting of Will Smith seemed callous in the worst ways.

    But 2019’s Aladdin has major community theater energy, with a few lovingly crafted sets, performances inspired in their unaware bliss, and enough out-of-left-field jokes that deliver some of the best laughs I’ve had this year. It’s a movie that is trying so hard and…

  • Little Woods

    Little Woods

    ★★★★½

    It’s strange to me how quickly I fell in love with Little Woods when the two films that most closely resemble it are No Country for Old Men, a movie I’m mixed on, and Night Moves, a movie I hate. Much like those films, Little Woods leans into its characters, so heavily that nobody in the movie really matters except for Tessa Thompson’s Ollie and Lily James’ Deb. The action is implied at its most visceral, and there’s not much…

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  • The Hate U Give

    The Hate U Give

    ★★½

    'Crowdpleasing' has never been a term I particularly liked, especially outside of the four-quadrant blockbusters. Whenever a drama, especially a drama that deals with serious issues gets called 'crowdpleasing', it usually means that the issues and themes have been pacified enough that it's not going to piss off anyone for the sake of making an extra buck or two. But I was hopeful walking into The Hate U Give. In a year where we have had three films that tackled…

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    ½

    Alright, this is gonna be a long one. And I should start it by saying a few things. Queen is one of my favorites bands of all time, may even be my single favorite band. I think Mercury was not only a genius but a transgressive icon that changed the world around him. And I am well aware of the difficult journey to get the surviving members of the band, especially Brian May and Roger Taylor, to agree with various…