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  • Lost River

    Lost River 2014

    Watched 08 Apr, 2015

    Why yes, this is as bad as you've heard. Almost immediately feels like a bad short story stretched out to feature length, chock full of "cool" looking images that carry no significant cinematic weight other than to remind us of the obvious better filmmakers who've successfully done this dance many times before. But none of what's on display here is even remotely transportive or interesting, just a glut of static world-building where there is virtually no time for characterization, surprise,…

  • Lady in the Water

    Lady in the Water 2006

    Watched 06 Apr, 2015 2

    Funny how this got lambasted upon its initial release, but I watch it now and see the beauty of M. Night battling through some grand funk of self-absorption and genuine sincerity. Instead of injecting another protagonist working through some serious personal crisis (Giamatti is really good here, but his arc isn't that interesting), Shyamalan takes the reigns, inserting himself rather forcefully into a large supporting role. His stubborn belief in storytelling amidst social and foreign turmoil may do little for…

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  • Blackhat

    Blackhat 2015

    Watched 16 Jan, 2015

    "It's all about if I can get close enough, fast enough."

    There's no trace of the mythic in Mann's contemporary universe, only strict instances of action and reaction swirling around to dizzying effect. The visceral and physical escalation bubbles up to the surface and leaves a lasting, personal mark. Moments of romance are present but brief: Hemsworth's Hathaway surveying his lover's neckline and skin (Claire Denis has mastered this by now), or the same couple holding each other late in…

  • Stop Making Sense

    Stop Making Sense 1984

    Watched 06 Feb, 2015 3

    I don't know. I've had a pretty shitty last few weeks and this made me tremendously, near tears happy. Deceptively simple yet honest and true, Demme creates an intimacy onstage without installing quick, jittery cuts and shots of the audience. It's all about the crazy dynamics of the performance. The camera captures motion and expression & unison between performer and instrument with tremendous ease. It all flows with natural grace and a fever of cool (that lamp dance!). The joy is…