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  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★★★½

    I don't know what it was about the film in particular, the performances that ring true and emotional at the highest level, the images that feel warm and inviting but also mysterious and contemplative or the music that is as scarce as I've ever heard in a film but when it plays, it pulls on your heart strings with all its might and shakes you to the core, rushing over you like a giant tidal wave of emotions. Maybe it's…

  • The Invisible Man

    The Invisible Man

    ★★★★

    This film shouldn't work.

    The title basically tells you exactly what kind of a story you're in for. It brings a plethora of expectations with it and, even if you just heard the trailer during previews you'll have picked up on a couple of spoilery details and of course there's a lot of invisibility lore to draw from under the guise of this title (a lore, which I'll actually plan to catch up on, courtesy of an Invisible Man films…

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  • Sleepless

    Sleepless

    ★★★

    There's a basic disconnect at the heart of this story but overall it's a still a solid enough film to entertain throughout — if only it had come sooner than in 2001. 

    The disconnect is the fact that Argento is telling an old story, in a bit of an old-fashioned way even, but he does it in the confines of a modern aesthetic that considerably takes away from the mystique such a highly theatrical and psychological plot has to offer. 

    Sure, Argento…

  • The Stendhal Syndrome

    The Stendhal Syndrome

    ★★★½

    Later-years Argento isn't always met with enthusiasm by the fans and only two years after this he made a Phantom of the Opera adaptation I didn't care for at all but I'm glad to say that there's lots of enjoyment and giallo creativity to be found in The Stendhal Syndrome.

    The film is unique, for one by implementing the eponymous syndrome into the story and making Anna live through out-of-body experiences where she feels like she enters the paintings she sees around…

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  • Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts

    Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts

    ★★★★

    An Indonesian rape and revenge film that somehow feels less exploitative and more grounded than comparable genre-fare. Also, it's not as visually dark and depressing as one might expect from such material but rather glary.

    It's definitely a mood-piece because the film relies heavily on its images along Marlina's journey and is therein definitely akin to the western genre, which also applies to the plot, which is pretty straightforward and without too many twists or turns. Some might take away…

  • First Man

    First Man

    ★★★★½

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

    The emotional core and the Hurwitz score flat out killed me on this second viewing.

    I noticed little moments like Neil seeing a specter of his daughter at a fellow astronauts' funeral and I really noticed his motivation behind going to the moon, portrayed as an unbelievably personal one and, if I had only one word to describe the film, it would be just that: personal.

    This is not a film about a Go, USA! flag planting moment, it's about…