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  • Ghost in the Shell

    Ghost in the Shell

    ★★

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

    Given my love of Ghost in the Shell in all its many iterations, I would be remiss in not reviewing the US remake from director Rupert Sanders and starring Scarlett Johansson as the Major. Remakes in general are always a tough sell, and while I think there are some good examples on both sides of the equation, the general expectation is that any piece of world cinema being adapted for Hollywood is going to lose something in translation. I wanted…

  • Ghost in the Shell

    Ghost in the Shell

    ★★★★★

    Ghost in the Shell is such an incredibly dense film. Visually and narratively, it’s overstuffed with ideas and suggestions and implications.

    Huge swathes of the film are devoted to long, slow takes on the scenery, wherever it is. In particular, the sequence set to Kenji Kawai’s “Ghost City” is one of my enduring images of the film, a kind of interlude or intermission between the two halves of the story. Long, lingering shots of the buildings, the ferries, the waterways,…

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  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    ★★★★½

    A gorgeously animated, ridiculously funny, and occasionally moving superhero adventure that manages to feel fresh in a crowded genre. If not for some of the many Spider-People feeling a little underexplored I'd rate this as near perfect as a Spider-Man movie could get. More Miles Morales, please!

  • Godzilla: The Planet Eater

    Godzilla: The Planet Eater

    ½

    A brutally boring conclusion to a truly dreadful trilogy. There's no way to describe this as being anything other than a chore, an hour and a half of pseudo-philosophy barely dressed up with some kaiju-on-kaiju action.

    When Ghidorah finally appears and Godzilla actually wakes up some 45 minutes in, I'm pretty sure Godzilla doesn't even take a step before Ghidorah starts gnawing on him and they both become immobile. While there's a lot to be said for practical effects, it…

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  • Tombstone

    Tombstone

    ★★★½

    Somewhat inconsistent - but still enjoyable - take on the Wyatt Earp/Doc Holliday legend. When the film can steer away from melodrama it's pretty good, but when it leans into it - with bizarre line readings, poorly chosen cuts, and even the odd bit of slow motion - it's hard to swallow, ending up feeling like a much earlier, much less accomplished piece.

    Val Kilmer totally steals the show as the declining, consumptive, alcohol-fuelled "Doc" Holliday with all the best lines (and best fashion):

    "You're drunk. You're probably seeing double."
    "I've got two guns. One for each of ya."

  • Throne of Blood

    Throne of Blood

    ★★★★★

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

    I didn't know anything about Throne of Blood before I started watching, but about ten minutes in it became clear that this was Kurosawa doing Macbeth - and knocking it out of the park.

    Throne of Blood is frequently shot as if it’s a stage production – which makes sense, given the source material, but apparently Kurosawa wanted to incorporate Noh theatre, and the result is fantastic. I kept expecting the scenery to get shuffled around in the background. The…