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  • Midsommar

    Midsommar

    ★★

    “This rune, for example, is about grief.”

    At which point I spit out my drink and wept before the labyrinthine complexity of Ari’s Asterpiece, Midsommar. Because, if you think about it, that’s just what grief is: a centennial pagan blood ritual. And if it isn’t—well, that’s just one in a whole host of things this film doesn’t consider. Midsommar is a strange film, because it presents itself as something to be appreciated, analyzed, deconstructed, and yet declines to merit even…

  • A Hidden Life

    A Hidden Life

    ★★★★½

    The legend goes that, after finishing Silence, Terrence Malick wrote a letter to Martin Scorsese asking “What does Christ require of us?” As a question prompted by the film, it was a good one, well-merited and existentially urgent. What does Christ require of us? Must we confess Him only in our hearts, or also in our words? What great deeds must we do to be worthy of Him? For someone like Malick, like myself, like countless others who take matters…

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  • The Naked Spur

    The Naked Spur

    ★★★

    For a Few Acres More

  • Day of the Outlaw

    Day of the Outlaw

    ★★★½

    Bleak and unpleasant. Whether it’s the barbed wire keeping the livestock from wandering or the oppressive mountain ridges that hem in the town, the world is too small and cut off to escape either your enemies or yourself. It’s too cold to get warm; you’ll freeze to death trying.  

    Watched as part of the Criterion Channel’s “Western Noir” series.

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  • Toy Story 4

    Toy Story 4

    ★★★

    There’s a 2001 joke in this movie, which is surprising. Even more surprising is that this ending is quite possibly more totally bewildering than that one.

    First impression is that Toy Story 4 pretty dramatically undermines everything its three predecessors nail so wonderfully, and that’s not a good thing. Forky is obviously unparalleled cinema, but I was left feeling a little like a lost toy. I’ll be scratching my head over this one for a while.

    UPDATE: Read my full review here.

  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★½

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

    Alright, I’m not gonna exert a whole lot of effort on this review due to the fact that, to be frank, Roma kind of drained me. I honestly don’t understand the lack of correlation between the universal and uproarious praise Roma has received, my deep appreciation for Cuarón’s work, and my love (or lack of it) for this film. I’m going to go ahead and admit my part in the unforgivable cinematic transgression: I was really, really bored. Sure, the…