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  • The Souvenir: Part II

    ★★★★

  • The Zone of Interest

  • All of Us Strangers

    ★★★½

  • Dead Presidents

    ★★★½

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  • The Boy and the Heron

    The Boy and the Heron

    ★★★★★

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

    They mature, and then they fly.

    Back in 2017 when How Do You Live? was first announced, Studio Ghibli co-founder and producer Suzuki Toshio went on Japanese television to frame the film as Miyazaki Hayao's way of telling his grandchildren that "Grandpa is moving on to the next world, but he’s leaving behind this film." By all accounts, the film that would come to be called The Boy and the Heron in English-speaking countries has evolved since that initial idea…

  • Columbus

    Columbus

    ★★★★½

    See, it's asymmetrical but it's also still balanced.

    Casey grew up in Columbus, Indiana, desperately cares for her mother, and, because of that, fears leaving behind everything she knows and cares for. Jin lives in Seoul, struggles to find concern for his ailing father, and eagerly anticipates the day he can return home. Youthfully unguarded, yet matured from experience, Casey is mesmerizing to be around, while Jin's stoicism and bluntness suggest an "old man" set in his ways, but all…

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  • The Souvenir: Part II

    The Souvenir: Part II

    ★★★★

    Across both of The Souvenir's parts, shot compositions are frequently anchored around a checkerboard of mirrors dotting the wall separating the main room and kitchen in Julie's apartment. With Part I concerning itself with Anthony's deceptive persona and Julie's inability to self actualize, at various points that fixture suggested Anthony's split identity and Julie seeing herself clearly. At the end of Part II, however, Julie remodels the apartment, transforming that wall of mirrors into a set of double doors. Given…

  • The Zone of Interest

    The Zone of Interest

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

    Somewhere in the early minutes of The Zone of Interest, I caught myself reactively start to chuckle at some quirky behavior exhibited by one of the Höss family members, only to stop myself and choke it down. What was fascinating to me about that reaction was how involuntary it was; I related to a fleeting moment of humanity so instantaneously that I had to actively, consciously remind myself of the atrocities I was about to see the Hösses participate in.…

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  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    ★★★★★

    As much as the third Indiana Jones film is about obsessive tendencies (concisely indicated by the hard cut between young and old Indy, both fighting for the Cross of Coronado), it is also about transference of knowledge. That is to say, where the Nazis burn books, Henry Jones shares them with his son. Indy is a testament to the teachings of his father, following in his academic footsteps and displaying a number of the same personality traits; he's been shaped…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★★★

    A personal aside before the review: The Alamo Drafthouse in Kansas City continues its run as the most impressive theater in the area by providing a free, early screening of Fury Road, entirely making my week!

    (EDIT 08/14/2020 - After reading accounts from KC Alamo employees - some of whom worked there during the time of this Fury Road screening - in The Pitch, I feel awful about promoting and supporting this particular location for so long now knowing that…