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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★★★½

    85

    A haunted film. Visions of a portrait only completed once the system has had its way. Romantic and grand - the swooning, crashing waves, the stark nighttime glow of windows at night, a gentle light within carnivorous mansion rooms - but what lingers is the inevitability of a blazing flame being extinguished.

  • Angst

    Angst

    ★★★★½

    83

    What is so remarkable about Angst is that it constantly plays and inverts and unleashes a different mode to the perspective by which we consume its horror, but never the effect. The ruthlessness of the evil is always consistent, but our understanding of what is unfolding, and how we're perceiving it, is very surprising. No matter the shocking surface of Gerald Kargl's film, and it is almost unwaveringly hard to watch - the icy-toned hues, glaring modern coldness, the…

  • Dead Poets Society

    Dead Poets Society

    ★★★★½

    88

    "To think then, upon returning to Dead Poets Society, a film I hadn’t seen in many years and figured to be an acceptable piece of sentimental sweetness, I was shocked to have it hit so hard. Peter Weir’s 1989 film was shown incessantly in clips and montages upon Robin Williams’ tragic, untimely death, and I almost had it lodged in my brain as the movie with the ‘o captain, my captain’ moment. Sure, it’s an indelible scene, and Robin…

  • The Other Woman

    The Other Woman

    ★★

    35

    Mostly terrible rom-com revenge story with a meager premise failed by a distinct lack of personality. The main jokes consist mainly of boring pratfall gags but the trio has decent chemistry together. Best part is Don Johnson just showing up and being Himself.

  • There's Something About Mary

    There's Something About Mary

    ★★★★★

    97

    A masterpiece. A goofy, glorious comedy about despicable men projecting their fantasies onto a woman who sees only the best in their performative actions. Nonstop classic gross-out gags, but honest above all - a layer of sweetness beneath stunts and jokes regarding gender, class, and notions of romance.

  • Satan's Little Helper

    Satan's Little Helper

    ★★★½

    64

    A demented halloween vibe with a Disney Channel Original aesthetic. Pretty stupid (and great).

  • Beach Rats

    Beach Rats

    ★★½

    46

    As much as I liked the look of Beach Rats, with director Eliza Hittman and cinematographer Hélène Louvart capturing a sort of nocturnal sense of anxiety, of hiding from the world while simultaneously performing to upkeep appearances, it fell into a stasis of limited concept. This isn't much of anything beyond surface, and it attempts a physicality relating to queer desire that didn't fully work for me. Too often, the performances were stilted, as if the one-note naturalism and…

  • Miracle Mile

    Miracle Mile

    ★★★★½

    84

    The hopelessness of Miracle Mile is constantly at odds with its own romantic idealism, as to suggest that what we yearn to achieve is impossible but there's nothing wrong with trying anyway, even as the reality is damning. Such a balance within a real-time countdown narrative could easily be seen as disjointed, but the horror of the situation is perfectly offset by gestures of humility, the motions that we enact to continue our supposed self-designated purpose. As a glorious…

  • Jerry Maguire

    Jerry Maguire

    ★★★★½

    88

    This movie shouldn't work as well as it does, but it's primed with an A-list ensemble cast (Bonnie Hunt! Regina King!) and writer/director Cameron Crowe at his most delicately sentimental. Before you even realize what Jerry Maguire is working towards, the film has stolen your heart.

  • Grown Ups

    Grown Ups

    ★★★

    55

    It's so funny to think about the anger that critics and redditors spewed towards this movie on release when it's nothing but riffs and vibes and bloopers stitched together. Essentially plotless, except for a few key moments that make up some semblance of a third act, and it's just bursting with jokes that don't land but it's nonstop zingers so it carries its weight on the sheer laziness of it all. Looking back, it's almost quaint, and it's weirdly…

  • Alita: Battle Angel

    Alita: Battle Angel

    ★★★½

    70

    As sub-standard as I find the YA narrative in Alita: Battle Angel, or the often faulty clumsiness of its writing, Robert Rodriguez more than makes up for it with a swift focus on economical action and plotting. The world-building is often effortless and moving - a concise class division narrative that is small in scale but tangible and alive in practice. Rodriguez, who started with micro-budget actioners and rose to a mix of digital trickery and outrageous children's films,…

  • Central Station

    Central Station

    ★★★

    58

    Overall, quite limited in its characterization. Clearly going after a neorealist aesthetic but it lacks the sturdy, delicate observation of films it riffs off of. Nonetheless, the beauty is in its simplicity, and the two central performances from Fernanda Montenegro and Vinícius de Oliveira do so much of the heavy lifting. Their dynamic is key to this story of longing and satisfaction, their personal narratives rising up against the constraints of poverty, not to mention the always prevalent generational…