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  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★★★★

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

    we mustn't destroy what we hate, we must save what we love.

    This is a tremendous, immensely valuable chapter of the Star Wars saga. While I may not come to love it on a personal level as much as I do some of it's predecessors, this thing is fascinating to take in. Johnson provides a cleanse of sorts of all the baggage from this saga's long, rich history; addressed literally in the film as "letting the past die". The divisiveness…

  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★★

    A fierce and passionate parable about hope; First Reformed is a response, at times a whimper and at others a shout, to Jesus’ infamous question in the garden just before his death - My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? A look at the difficulties of a *truly* religious life, one in which all actions, perceptions and reactions are analyzed, scrutinized and reconciled in relation to a foundational text that offers little empathy to those who stray from…

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  • Crawl

    Crawl

    ★★★½

    Simple and straightforward; Crawl delivers on the promise of it's premise. A daughter goes to find her father as a hurricane descends on the swamps of Florida, and soon find themselves being hunted by numerous alligators. Aja directs the hell out of this, making what would seem to be a paper-thin experience into something satisfyingly rounded. Kaya Scodelario excels as our protagonist; a swimmer with a strained relationship to her father. Their dynamic is simple and familiar; but Aja uses…

  • Bride of Chucky

    Bride of Chucky

    ★★★★

    If Child's Play was the cozy, straightforward slasher that birthed this franchise; Bride of Chucky is the smarter, sharper successor that confidently pivots completely away from horror and into self-aware comedy. This was inevitable given the fact that the franchise is built around a murderous doll desperately trying to voodoo his way into a human body, but what's delightful about Bride of Chucky is that the dolls get to be in on the joke. This is delightfully ironic, satirical and…

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★★

    I've been seeing lots of "controversy" over the supposed value of La La Land vs something like Moonlight, usually insinuating that La La Land's comparative levity somehow renders it lesser. My quick two cents would that be that yes, Moonlight is a magnificent portrait of masculinity in 2017's world, with broad, valuable insights on how race, sexual preference (*orientation*) and class all influence and inform one's identity. Basically a vehicle and showcase for compassion and empathy in a world seemingly…

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★★

    In light of recent events, I'm reminded of Fermi's paradox. A cynical and unsettling notion which suggests the reason we've never been contacted by extraterrestrial intelligent life is that the no civilization has survived long enough to innovate to that level. Or, in simpler terms, that the fundamental nature of intelligent life is to ultimately destroy itself. As tech and sciences progress further and further, what matters is how we allocate that technology; what leaders we elect to control it…