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  • Annihilation

    Annihilation

    ★★★★

    Writer-director Alex Garland follows up his excellent 2015 science-fiction film about artificial intelligence, “Ex Machina”, with a much more ambitious and bold film, “Annihilation”, a cerebral look at stasis and change, growth and stagnation, and humanity’s inclination towards self-destruction.

    Garland’s writing is strong, but his direction rarely embodies the imaginative nature of the premise (apart from some lingering lens flares thematically fitting with how much the film revolves around literal refraction), a group of military scientists entering a growing quarantined…

  • Boogie Nights

    Boogie Nights

    ★★★½

    An effortlessly stylish look at the creative process, and finding family wherever one can.

    Paul Thomas Anderson makes it look easy with how much style he has on display (though he never really manages to top the excellent long tracking shot that opens the movie), and the cast is game with their kooky set of characters (Anderson’s proclivity for just exploring characters in depth but not actually giving them much in the way of arcs or development works particularly well…

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  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    ★★★★½

    This film should not exist.

    It is a three-hour relentlessly gloomy epic about a murderous, deranged Batman trying to kill a depressed Superman. It’s utterly bizarre the film exists in the form it came in. A $250 million US dollar budget went to a film about a pop culture figure, beloved by children worldwide, earnestly trying to murder the embodiment of “truth, justice, and the American way”. The film had tie-in toys, cereals, snacks, as if everything was normal, business…

  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    ★★★★

    A fantastic black comedy about catharsis and culpability, excellently acted by a brilliant cast.

    The film never goes down the easy road, the easy story beats, it twists and turns and meanders and feels so anchored to reality all the while, such honest dialogue delivered by such fantastic actors. Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson do very strong work as leads, but Sam Rockwell is the revelation here, mapping a nuanced, difficult journey for a complicated character coherently.

    There’s no easy…