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  • Tropic Thunder

    Tropic Thunder

    I can't believe I left the aughts without having seen this one. This could only be made in the early 2000s where bling culture gave white suburbanites what they perceived as a free pass into hip-hop culture. The twin apotheoses of this are Robert Downey Jr. in a role so offensive the drugs may not have been his low point and Tom Cruise attempting to ironically represent something that is still played absolutely straight to this day. Jesus.

    This movie…

  • Wonder Wheel

    Wonder Wheel

    ★★

    It's lighting is obvious; it's staging is uninspired and the writing could not be more on the nose. But at times it shuts up and let's the actors do their thing, and it works for a moment. This is really just a play on film, but I guess you have to show Coney Island a little bit and Allen's grossness hasn't stopped funding yet. Good use of your Jim Belushi, though.

    Most importantly, though, this is not the time for an 'evil woman' drama. What was he thinking?

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  • Bamseom Pirates Seoul Inferno

    Bamseom Pirates Seoul Inferno

    ★★½

    Note: Seen at NYAFF and attended Q&A with the Pirates and the director.

    This should have been two movies. I very much enjoyed the first one, which was a documentary about the eponymous Korean grindcore band and their pawing at liberal politics. It was well made and a lot of fun, but the second half of the film, only tangentially involving the Pirates, concerning the trial of their producer made the film overlong, ruined much of the arc of the…

  • Band Aid

    Band Aid

    ★★★½

    This film mostly holds itself together. Lister-Jones has an ear for naturalistic dialogue, and Fred Armisen is the gift that keeps on giving. Pally is also used well, a prototypical "dude" fits his drawlish accent. I think the third act struggles to bring home a lot of the themes the first two set up, but this film knows what it is through and through, and you will love it or hate it on that. And the music's not bad, so that's pretty neat.