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  • The Autopsy of Jane Doe

    The Autopsy of Jane Doe

    ★★½

    And people complain about the third act of Hereditary?  Sheez, this was terrible.

  • Stop Making Sense

    Stop Making Sense

    ★★★★

    Great, now I’ve gotta track down the remasters.

  • Shoplifters

    Shoplifters

    ★★★½

    Although I loved the performance of Sakura Ando and Kor-eda's twisty endgame, the pacing of the film's second act suffers from his more episodic tendencies. Plus, from the trailer, I really expected that opening sequence in the grocery store to be more ... I don't know, something.

  • Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

    Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

    ★★½

    “If this were entertainment, surely it would be more interesting.”

    I grew up in the ‘80s, playing games like Zork and Balrog on a TRS-80, so I can dig it.  But setting aside the interactive gimmick (which may prove to overestimate the attention span of the average Netflix viewer), it seems to me that the only thing that is unique about this piece is its unprecedented level of meta.

  • Revenge
  • Vice

    Vice

    ★★½

    In contrast with the more confident and more informed The Big Short (2015), Vice feels like two separate movies: a two-dimensional portrait of Dick Cheney (driven by a quiet lust for power, a love for “his girls,” and pretty much nothing else) and a bashing of that low-hanging fruit known as the Bush administration.  I’m tempted to characterize the latter as arriving 15 years too late, like some defensive end piling on to a tackle 15 seconds after the whistle…

  • If Beale Street Could Talk

    If Beale Street Could Talk

    ★★★

    Perfectly competent, if a little bit cloying in its manifestation of the underlying love story and a little bit disappointing in the wake of Moonlight

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    ★★★½

    Oh yes, it’s pandering (in more ways than one).   It’s also quite an adeptly made, entertaining piece of postmodernism, as superhero movies go.

  • Envy

    Envy

    “Where does the shit go?”

    (apparently where Barry Levinson attempts to channel the Farrelly brothers)

  • Vox Lux

    Vox Lux

    ★★★½

    My spouse enjoyed this a good deal more than A Star Is Born (2018); and if you listen to Filmspotting, you’d know this is one of Sean Baker’s three favorite films of 2018 (and that dude watches a lot of movies).  I’m not sure I’d go quite that far, but Vox Lux is certainly bold enough, and knowing enough (e.g., casting Raffey Cassidy as both mother and daughter as a thematic point), for me to keep an eye out for…

  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★★★½

    If the cinematic love letter is really a thing, then director Alfonso Cuaron’s fictionalized ode to his live-in childhood housekeeper, set in Mexico City circa 1971, must surely be considered a masterpiece of the genre.  I saw the black and white promotional stills (warning: nostalgia ahead) and I heard that Cuaron ended up having to operate the camera himself: what I was expecting was an austere indie, but what I got was nothing less than a work of art.  Cuaron’s…

  • Foxtrot

    Foxtrot

    ★★★★

    Irony, but with real potency (cf. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs).