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  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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

    The Last Jedi or: Why We Dream of Heroes.

    *please excuse the title*

    The Last Jedi is a film about Star Wars. About why it persists, why we love it, and what it means that we love it. It dismantles the hero myth and in doing so burns down the foundation of the franchise bone by bone until all that's left is the heart, beating alone in the ash. It is, understandably, a very divisive film.

    "This is not going…

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  • Wild at Heart

    Wild at Heart

    A road trip from fantasy into reality and then back into fantasy. An intensely physical romance flares within an already burning hellscape, sputters, and then:

    "If you are truly wild at heart, you’ll fight for your dreams... Don’t turn away from love, Sailor... Don’t turn away from love... Don’t turn away from love."

    I loved this. I found myself leaning forward throughout in the same way that I did for Fire Walk With Me and The Return. It's a propulsive…

  • Attack the Block

    Attack the Block

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

    A great example of efficient, economical storytelling that nails its moment-to-moment action, character beats, and narrative structure - all of which is elevated by its melding of a fun genre premise with a layer of broader social meaning.

    The opening ten minutes are like a whirlwind tour through a screenwriting course, smartly introducing all the major players, their relationships, their world, and then turning it upside down with the inciting incident of an alien invasion. It sets up narrative hook…

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  • Baby Driver

    Baby Driver

    A stylish joyride of a film with a killer soundtrack. It turns the music up and puts the pedal down and beyond some peculiar pacing at around the 1/2 to 2/3rds mark roars down the road from beginning to end.

    The cast is committed and consistently great, but the mostly-diegetic soundtrack takes center stage here: serving to set the tone, get your blood pumping, and strap you in as the characters veer through traffic and past cop cars. The whole…

  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

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

    Takes what was most conventionally satisfying about the original and shifts the focus to it while mostly maintaining the mood, atmosphere, and world that left such a large cultural footprint.

    It's not all a win. It loses the improvisational poetry of Ridley's original in favor of Villeneuve's cold, calculated intentionality. The original film feels nearly effortless. It lingers in a haze of neon smoke and rain alongside floating jazz notes. Blade Runner 2049 is different. It's more digestible for one…