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  • Seven Samurai

    Seven Samurai

    ★★★★★

    [99]

    A piece I wrote for my university's paper. It may be worth mentioning that this review is written with a more pragmatic, perhaps simplistic, approach in mind since this is for a different audience. And, if you've been a regular reader of my Kurosawa reviews lately, some things mentioned here may seem a little repetitive, again because of a different audience. Possibly, I might refashion it later.

    As a stroke of sheer coincidence, I noticed that I had written…

  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    [86]

    A piece I wrote for my university's paper. The larger piece does not contain spoilers, but — for the content I cut for the paper — some spoilers will be found in the appendices which follow the review.

    ‘Parasite,’ the brilliant Korean Best Picture winner

    My affair with writer-director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” began back in August, then three months after its premiere at the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival where it won the top prize, the Palme d’Or, the…

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  • The Swordsman

    The Swordsman

    ★★

    [43]

    About as ordinary as a sageuk (Korean historical drama) film can get, though briefly invigorated early on by some amount of promise in its mannered pacing and minor assurances that it will culminate into something more robust. That promise is undone little by little as it moves forward, leading into swordplay that is marred by its digital look, and in dramatics and a web of characters that are not only all too familiar but worse: inert and plainly drawn.…

  • Samurai Marathon

    Samurai Marathon

    ★★½

    [51]

    Rather cogent and well-mannered for the most part, especially as it's directed by an Englishman situating himself within chanbara cinema; the very same Englishman, we would find, who directed Candyman.

    Staged in mid-nineteenth century Japan (in the wake of American Commodore Matthew Perry's landfall upon Japanese soil, the first time in some two centuries since the western world sought international trade and diplomacy with the Japanese archipelago), co-writer-director Bernard Rose's Samurai Marathon is efficiently titled—a jidaigeki account of Japan's…

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  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    ★½

    [28]

    May write more on a later date. It's late and I'm tired (probably no thanks to this film in part), but I aim to muster up enough strength to marginally lambaste this. As tainted by the name of Bryan Singer as it very much is, this is just a thoroughly dim-witted, banal, apocryphal affair that was categorically crafted to cater to as large an audience as possible, never minding to shoot the film in any imaginative way, technically or…

  • Us

    Us

    ★★★½

    [67]

    A piece I wrote for my university's paper.

    ‘Us’ turns a mirror on ourselves, horrifying us as it does

    "Therefore, thus says the Lord, ‘Behold I am bringing disaster on them which they will not be able to escape; though they will cry to Me, yet I will not listen to them.’”

    Early in writer-director Jordan Peele’s new thriller, “Us,” we follow a young girl as she navigates a boardwalk carnival with her parents, the family oddly keeping a…