Kern

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Favorites: Recently loved films.

Favorite films

  • Walden
  • Angel Face
  • The French Dispatch
  • Rosa la Rose, Public Girl

Recent activity

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  • Landscape in the Mist

    ★★

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★

  • The Piano Teacher

    ★★★★★

  • Goodbye, Dragon Inn

    ★★★

Pinned reviews

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  • The Batman

    The Batman

    ★★★

    There's a lot going on here—a neo-noir serial killer mystery woven in with a mob crime syndicate/police corruption story, a touch of romance, and some social commentary tossed in during the final hour—and it's all buried within a superhero story which has a dude dressed in a black leather costume delivering line readings like "I need to see The Penguin," with a straight face. And shockingly, it's mostly cohesive. The goofiness is sometimes overbearing and the last hour leans into…

  • Scream

    Scream

    ★★½

    For me, 4 nailed the balance between comedy and horror, leaning further into the metacommentary and satire without deflating the tension from the set pieces or taking focus away from the character-focused story. This new entry feels cut from the same cloth, with similar ambitions, but it consistently fails where that film excelled. "Makes great use of the additional characters," I wrote in my log for a recent revisit of 4, but I certainly can't say the same for this…

Recent reviews

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  • Landscape in the Mist

    Landscape in the Mist

    ★★

    The stylish, smooth camerawork is striking at times, but that's barely a reason to endure this ostentatious drag. The bleak content would be affecting if it weren't for the film's labored pleading for pity. My visceral reaction could be due to my general aversion to stories where the corruption of youth/innocence is played for cheap pathos, but even accounting for that, I can't make sense of the consensus on this one. It felt to me like A Gentle Creature minus that film's brilliant structure and subtle tension.

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★

    I'm not a Raimi fan in general—A Simple Plan, far and away his most toned down effort, is my favorite film of his by a large margin—so the mildly weird bits scattered throughout the second half weren't nearly enough to offset the dire first half. No point in detailing what I think sucks about this movie; it's just not for me. Especially if this is what qualifies as subversive for the franchise.

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  • Us

    Us

    ★★½

    Starts off strong, effectively creating tension through fantastic cinematography and notably sharp editing/pacing, but once the table has been properly set, it's a gradual nosedive to the perplexing finale. The acting is undeniably committed and the child actors are pitch-perfect, but the exaggerated, go-for-broke lead performances teeter into overkill and would have been more effective if reigned in a bit. Also, the frequent attempts at humor, though sometimes successful, completely undercut the unnerving tone. It felt like Peele wasn't confident…

  • The Dead Don't Die

    The Dead Don't Die

    ★½

    Jarmusch's work occasionally falls flat for me but with The Dead Don’t Die, he goes beyond anti-comedy and anti-horror, essentially creating an anti-film so lazy and uninspired—the cop car's number is “001”—it’s as if complete apathy is his entire approach. Some may be charmed by the lack of style, substance, character development, purpose, and, well, anything to really latch onto, but to me, Jarmusch's refusal to commit to anything is maddening. The social commentary is so thin, it almost feels…