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Sally Jane has written 440 reviews for films during 2017.

  • Eye for an Eye

    Eye for an Eye

    This film takes graphic glee in tonal shifts. A merry party turned into a violent crime scene. A funeral turned into a moment of slapstick. These moments are jarring and poorly executed, each time feeling like a poorly thought out piece of writing rather than an intentional shock. It's inept. It's cartoonish. Much like the characters, for the most part--even Sally Field is reduced to clowning about under the weight of something falling on her at one point, and don't…

  • A Far Off Place

    A Far Off Place

    For a film that shows a white man using Africans to help him slaughter elephants for their ivory, you would think they'd be more careful about representation in the film. Instead, the villainous white man gets all the screen time and a Disney-approved hubristic death, but every African he employs is shown to be disposable. It's okay for the heroine to blow them up, but in the end, the main villain has to scurry along to his death of his…

  • Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger

    Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger

    The Harryhausen effects still bring me warmth and joy, and the bright palette and huge sets and other effects are all right up my alley. It's a wonderful fantasy film bogged down by unfortunate racial undertones and blatant sexism, but it has moments of visual poetry and wonder that I wish I didn't love so much.

  • Jane and the Lost City

    Jane and the Lost City

    Racist stereotypes of Africans as violent, decorated, and uncivilized; gags about the title character constantly losing her clothes; ableist villainizing; imperialist/colonialist apologia... all in the first fifteen minutes. It gets worse from there.

  • Stealing Beauty

    Stealing Beauty

    Your first time was never that un-awkward. And outside? Come on. She woulda been so uncomfortable. I don't demand or expect realism here, but if you're going to make your entire film about virginity (blech), then at least have the decency to eschew cliched fantasies. For a moment, it feels like the film will portray this worship of virginity as the toxic thing it is, showing how creepily people talk about Lucy and of course the sexual assault (which is…

  • Curly Sue

    Curly Sue

    These stories where the bourgeois attorney, doctor, business person, corporate executive, architect, politician, investment banker, marketing executive, divine creator, etc. learns to be a human fucking being instead of callously destroying people's lives and being a complete parasite are really just propaganda telling you that what you need to make the world better is to change a few hearts in higher places instead of dragging the parasites into the streets and executing them like they deserve. It's worse when it's…

  • The First Wives Club

    The First Wives Club

    The empowerment of women is repeatedly undercut by slapstick-level ridiculousness, reducing the First Wives Club to helpless, clueless, silly at times when they should be their most ferocious. The fact that this is an absurd power fantasy for rich people doesn't help, and the fact that it shows these women taking power often at the expense of other women--though with a focus on the men, thankfully--also doesn't do the story any favors. This is pseudo-feminism, bourgeois feminism (literally). And they…

  • Triumph Over Violence

    Triumph Over Violence

    ★★★★

    Rewatched with friends in preparation of showing to more friends sometime later next year. This time the things that stood out include but are not limited to

    * The commentary on how much the capitalists made off of every prisoner in the concentration camps (~$1600), showing just how fucking vile capitalism is, profiting off the unspeakable suffering of the Holocaust. The Holocaust made them millions of dollars.

    * The shots of piles of human hair, reminiscent of Night and Fog.…

  • Model Minority

    Model Minority

    A bad case of shaky cam and forced, after school special dialogue drags down this attempt at some sort of nuanced look at race. That attempt at nuance fails as the film just becomes a stereotypical tragedy about drugs and crime and exploitation, where the major black characters are drug dealers (there's a counterpoint character who is, of course, the rich black kid, who also has almost no lines). It comes away making it seem like all of this boils…

  • Palooka

    Palooka

    Creed, but boring, white, and sexist.

  • It's a Wonderful Life

    It's a Wonderful Life

    ★★★★½

    It's a testament to this film that I have seen it at least once for every year I've been alive, and I still cry during it. There's something about someone's small contributions to this world being recognized by everyone around him that crushes me; I just want everyone around me to know how much they mean to me. I want you all to know what you've done for me. That moment makes me feel like part of the crowd, cheering George Bailey on, wishing him a Merry Christmas, giving what little I can to help keep him alive.

  • Airplane!

    Airplane!

    ★★

    What is the most offensive bit, do you think?