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  • Jasper Mall

    Jasper Mall

    ★★★★

    It's Frederick Wiseman's Russian Ark, guided by a Kiwi Joe Exotic.

    This movie is an elegy for End Stage Capitalism. It's the last gasp of a pre-COVID society that failed us on every level, from 2019 Alabama to 2021 Texas. I hope that if this is the end of shopping malls -- an institution I love more than any rational person should -- it is the precursor to a more equitable and just society.

    It may have been tempting for…

  • Swallow

    Swallow

    ★★★★½

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

    Swallow isn't quite Get Out as told by Ari Aster, but that's the elevator pitch. As much as I admired Never Rarely Sometimes Always, it doesn't pack half the punch as Swallow does, while touching on the same themes of feminist agency, being trapped by societal pressures, and a need to escape.

    Hunter and Richie are giving off Jennifer Lawrence and Handsome Eli Manning vibes. They live in a palatial Catskills abode whose 1950-60s pastiche vibes would make Tim Burton…

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  • Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets

    Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets

    ★★★★★

    With all due respect to Lover's Rock, there has never -- and I mean never -- been a film that better captures the townie bar experience better than Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets.

    I haven't read anything about it, so I honestly can't tell if it's a documentary or the most expertly-acted comedy in film history. Either way, it is like wearing a VR headset into the world of broken people and alcoholics, and I've never seen anything like it.

  • What We Do in the Shadows

    What We Do in the Shadows

    ★★★★½

    I forgot how goddamn funny this movie is. The jokes are great but the delivery is unparalleled.

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  • Comedian

    Comedian

    ★★★★

    It's one thing to be funny. It's another thing to entirely to be a Comedian. Such is the thesis of this portrait of two stand-up comics.

    One of the comics is Jerry Seinfeld, one of the greatest, and inarguably most heralded comic of the last three decades. The other is Orny Adams, a young, brash upstart. The contrast between the two drives the film.

    While Orny is a nobody, he boldly demands respect, gets upset by hecklers, blames crowds for…

  • Malena

    Malena

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

    It wouldn't be too hard to fall for a woman like Malena, played by the stunningly, impossibly gorgeous Monica Bellucci (who, in 2000, may very well have been the most beautiful woman on earth). But I wish there was more to her as a character. As it stands, she represents lust in the eyes of the men of a small Italian town, as well as the jealousies of its women. She is also an ideal in the mind of Renato,…