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  • Birdman 2014

    ★★ Watched 18 Jan, 2015

    It's not as if some comedy was the last thing Iñárritu's work needed—I disliked Birdman a good bit less than I thought I would.

    I liked it better when it was called Venus in Fur (and even then I didn't like it that much, but Polanski’s film's similarities and divergence from Iñárritu's work are instructive). Pretty middling on it overall, and though it exceeded my expectations, its thinness becomes glaring in hindsight. The tone and performances annoyed me…

  • The Missing Picture 2013

    ★★★★½ Watched 26 Dec, 2014

    A matter of things taken away, absent but not diminished—the act of carving is all about reduction, chipping away as memory is painfully but necessarily reconstructed. "To eradicate first is to destroy." A film that asks a lot of questions: when we can film? what we can photograph? what is important to depict or capture? Pan is always looking up to the celestial or staring into the waves; his startling and bold departures into natural and stylized beyonds (e.g.…

Popular reviews

  • Nightcrawler 2014

    ★★½ Watched 08 Nov, 2014

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Not far from a light 3 stars/C+, but, honestly, besides its jarring bookending murders, this doesn’t go as dark as this kind of thing should—see Jody Hill’s Observe and Report (2009) for a film that more fully embraces the comedic elements a few shrewd critics (Tina Hassannia wrote a convincing piece in Movie Mezzanine) have pointed out are Nightcrawler’s strongest suit. Hill takes Gilroy’s gradient heather grey to a stinging inky black. For example, I wish there had been…

  • John Wick 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 24 Oct, 2014

    Wryly, not smugly self-aware. Loopy yet unmistakably poetic world-building. Leitch & Stahelski trust the power of image. But don't doubt this thing's intelligence. It's more concerned with excavating Reeves's personality than you'd think.
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    I engaged with the film's many pleasures, and some of my reservations toward its treatment of violence, for the 6 Nov 2014 edition of The Miscellany News. The review is online here.

    Just when it seems the rampant violence will go completely unchecked, though, the…