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  • Rebels of the Neon God

    Rebels of the Neon God

    ★★★½

    Though released almost three decades ago in 1992, Tsai Ming-liang’s depiction of urban poverty and loneliness would have you think Rebels of the Neon God is contemporary. At the center of his film is Hsiao-kang (Kang-sheng Lee), a student who struggles to find anything of meaning in his life. He lives with his mother and father, the former of which believes him to be a reincarnation of the deity Nezha- the ‘Neon God’ of the title- and the latter of…

  • The Lovebirds

    The Lovebirds

    ★★★

    2020 Ranked

    The Lovebirds doesn’t offer much in terms of substance but the film’s leads, Kumail Nanjiani & Issa Rae, form a powerful comedic duo that entertain despite not having great source material to pull from. To my surprise, the film is very distant from Showalter’s prior film The Big Sick, also starring Nanjiani, but the distance between the two actually works to The Lovebirds’ advantage. One would be hard-pressed to know exactly where The Lovebirds is going at times, and the film’s emphasis on action comedy supplements the “annoying” romance that Nanjiani and Rae’s characters share.

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  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★★½

    2019 Ranked

    When I first saw the trailer for Joker, I thought the premise could offer a potentially new look at the character of the Joker. It seemed like a comic book movie with a slightly darker tone, and Joaquin Phoenix’s involvement suggested that it wouldn’t be your run-of-the-mill film. Phoenix doesn’t do those films.

    Until reading responses to the trailer, I hadn’t considered the immense controversy that 2 minutes would conjure or the immense vitriol that 2 hours and…

  • Frances Ha

    Frances Ha

    ★★★★

    There is no one more lost in this world than Frances. She’s awkward, unsuccessful, “undateable”, and perpetually low on cash forcing a series of moves that pushes her along with more intention than any of the decisions she makes on her own.

    Noah Baumbach’s film is a coming of age story, though you have to squint a little to see it. As the weeks, months, and years pass by, Frances- though never changing a moment from her awkward self- gradually…