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  • Manchester by the Sea

    Manchester by the Sea 2016

    ★★★½ Watched 25 Oct, 2016

    "Three films, as well as a handful of Broadway plays, have cemented Longeran as a classical dramatist at heart. He crafts melodramatic narratives that ring out toward larger themes, just as John Steinbeck and Arthur Miller had done. But he can be a deceptively sly filmmaker who challenges many of our expectations for the Great American Tragedy. If Manchester does invest itself in highly tumultuous drama (the revelations are guaranteed tear duct operators), Lonergan also invites a number of ridiculous…

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2016

    ★★½ Watched 16 Nov, 2016

    "For Fantastic Beasts, Rowling has written the screenplay herself, which attempts to simultaneously introduce a whole new set of characters while also world-building. The success of Rowling's previous adaptations was based on the audience familiarity with the otherwise incomprehensible plot, letting the actors embody characters they already knew. Rowling's script here feels rushed at every moment, the characters particularly ill-defined simply because of the amount of things that have to happen."

    My take for LAist, which goes downhill early after Katherine Waterston eats a hot dog.

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  • Moonrise Kingdom

    Moonrise Kingdom 2012

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 04 Aug, 2013 4

    I could talk about how this film's structure finally achieves the blissful melancholy that has been at the heart of all of Wes Anderson's films. I could talk about the precision of his framing and tracking shots, and how often he finds visual comedy through a perfect edit, or the slight entrance of new material into the frame. I could talk about how depressing the film is, the hints of both a traumatizing past, and that in a way, Sam…

  • Magic Mike XXL

    Magic Mike XXL 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 29 Jun, 2015 12

    "In the history of photography and film, getting the right image meant getting ones that conformed to the prevalent ideas of humanity. This included whiteness, of what colour—what range of hue—white people wanted white people to be....Movie lighting assume, privilege, and construct whiteness" —Richard Dyer, "Lighting For Whiteness"

    The history of Hollywood in many ways is the history of the construction of whiteness. This goes beyond simply films that have depicted African Americans in stereotypes or margnizaled their roles in…