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  • Shoplifters

    Shoplifters

    ★★★★½

    Those of you familiar with the works of Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda must have known that he is a master of family drama. With an amazing filmography that includes "Still Walking", "Nobody Knows", and "Like Father, Like Son", his latest work "Shoplifters" feels like a culmination of his long journey of exploring family dynamics in contemporary Japan (read: poverty, social norms, loss), and surely a deserving winner of the prestigious Palme d'Or in Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

    "Shoplifters"…

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    ★★★½

    As of today, I have watched all 17 films directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, except "Miller's Crossing" and "True Grit". I think the scripts for all these films are written by the Coens themselves (correct me if I'm wrong), thus it's easy to capture some key characteristics of their films: they admire dark comedies, they love to make conflicts out of worsen aftermaths of simple initial actions, they like to incorporate spiritualism in their films, and, of course, they…

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  • Edge of Tomorrow

    Edge of Tomorrow

    ★★★

    Watching EDGE OF TOMORROW is like you're playing an RTS game with unlimited lives. It's an expanded, war version of GROUNDHOG DAYS, except that some of the formulas do not work that well. The more you get into the movie, the more you find there's something wrong--and you can't stop to re-think what you've just had because this movie keeps you moving (or accelerating) forward. That's why it's exhausting; it wants everything to end fast, with all possible (but ineffective) ways it has. Which is bad, because the premise is nicely introduced and, well, everything's fine in the beginning.

  • Satan's Slaves

    Satan's Slaves

    ★★★

    Joko Anwar's skillful charm on technical aspects didn't help this film from being yet another average horror film. Many elements of the story seem deeply problematic--or, may I say, dumb--as if they're there just to hype up the horrors. It may end up being a fun, crowd-pleasing film, 'though, if you enter the theater just absent-mindedly.