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  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

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    from now til the end of time, i will only refer to dirty surfaces like floors and counters as "begrimed and befouled"

  • Jurassic Park

    Jurassic Park

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    saw this at the concert hall accompanied by a full live orchestra and it was extremely fun! it was an early birthday gift from my very thoughtful partner! the girl beside me, maybe 14 or 15 years old, was literally on the edge of her seat; i don't think she had seen it before because her dad explained a couple plot points at the beginning for her. the movie played by gangbusters. not only the iconic shots but some of the terrific David Koepp lines ("hang onto your butts"). great movie, not perfect, but great

  • The Changeling

    The Changeling

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    a near masterpiece

    i wish the movie didn't give up the mystery goods so early (around the halfway mark) because ambiguity is far more frightening than certainty. i mean, The Innocents is the ur-text for ambiguous ghost stories and it's literally perfect. i also wish the script had leaned a bit harder on the protagonist's grief after the halfway mark as well.

    but these are quibbles, especially when the direction and the editing and the sound design and the score…

  • The Lion King

    The Lion King

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    i can 100% see the appeal of this and can understand why it's a huge hit. it's a nature documentary with true-to-life animal movement (not behaviours, obviously) and stunning photography of African landscapes, feeding into the trope of Africa as where "real" nature lives. many shots in this film are breathtaking in their beauty and that's more so do to the beauty of the African savannah than Jon Favreau's skills.

    i keep saying "African" because The Lion King isn't set…

  • Evil Dead

    Evil Dead

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    i would rather watch 1,000 flawed gems like Evil Dead than another disingenuous, self-serious filmΓ© from Ari Aster. even if this movie is dopey and has really dumb screenplay (you never shock a flatline! never!! also, "legally dead" doesn't mean somebody had to be defibrillated!! grrrr! my least fav medical mistake in movies!!) Evil Dead has its heart in the right place and instead of holding the gore at a clinical, antiseptic distance, it revels in it. the characters experience…

  • Night of the Creeps

    Night of the Creeps

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    horror movies can overcome their many many limitations, such as budget or acting skill or even directorial skill, if they have a lot of personality. like The Mutilator, which is a boring movie save for its inventive kills and excess of personality. i love that movie (🎡heading for a Fall Break!🎡). the same can be said of Night of the Creeps is like four movies shoved into one to the point of confusion. but it's got a ton of personality…

  • Aladdin

    Aladdin

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    Well, it wasn't as dire as I expected but i expected an abysmal (that's a reference, look it up) pool of fetid sewer water, so it wasn't a high bar to clear. other people have observed its problems better than i, so i'll be brief.

    the costumes were amazing.

    the final dance sequence during the credits was great and showed a lot of promise, especially in how dances were shot. that sequence had more imagination and verve than the entire…

  • The Meg

    The Meg

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    lots of sequences in this movie are more complicated than you'd think, from a formal standpoint. the shark cage sequence, which for my money, is the best bit in the whole film, has a Rube Goldberg series of mishaps leading to the punchline: the shark just inches shy of biting Statham in the water thanks to the cables. in order for this Goldberg sequence to make sense for the audience, to be legible and coherent, the editing needs to be…

  • Crawl

    Crawl

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    pretty much ideal creature feature for me: one location, escalating stakes (as the water rises, the alligators get faster and more dangerous), and an obvious sense of humour about the premise without ever devolving into arch cynical gestures. no other movie amused me more this year than the various reversals of fortune suffered by the protagonists. i guffawed loudly, noisily enough to disturb my sleeping cat, when the levee's rush pushes the boat right back into the house they spent all this time trying to escape. oof this was fun. i can't imagine i'll see another movie this fun this year

  • Toy Story 4

    Toy Story 4

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    An endless cycle of reversals of fortune and any steps taken forward by the characters are walked back within seconds. Just exhausting. While the series is already predicated on the existential crisis of sentience, this new one adds an another layer. Too bad it’s rarely funny and doesn’t seem interested in exploring its new wrinkle (children can create life? Does this power extend to adults?). Ugh. What’s the point of spending all these thousands of hours of rendering power just to replicate reality? Good thing computer graphics have advanced to the point where they can finally mimic a technology over a hundred years old. Ugh.

  • Blockers

    Blockers

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    I oughta give this zero stars for ruining a perfectly good puke gag with CGI

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

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    finally watched the black and white version which has its pros and cons. the major pro is that the oversaturated colour correction has been replaced with moodier shades of grey. the landscape is much more desolate and foreboding in B&W. the major con is that the two night time scenes, which are oppressively blue in the original, aren't translated to B&W; instead, the two scenes are depicted in purple. it's a lovely shade of purple, but it's not B&W. you don't need me to tell you this movie is perfect. you already know that. at least give the B&W version a try