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  • Burning

    Burning

    ★★★★½

    Lee is practically unmatched in the contemporary cinematic landscape when it comes to how literary his films are, with thematic layers upon layers like a crepe cake made to make you ill. He's playing three-dimensional chess while the rest of us are just trying to catch up.

    "Burning succeeds because it’s an endless fractal of questions that you can answer both ways. It isn’t the kind of mystery that leaves things deliberately ambiguous for viewers to debate toward an answer — which…

  • Cities of Last Things

    Cities of Last Things

    Cities has a format that's a rip-off of Peppermint Candy and doesn't get anywhere close to as honest an examination of how trauma effects a life. So Imagine my disbelief when this won the Platform Prize at TIFF, awarded by a jury with Lee Chang-dong on it.

    Fails to impress at every turn, but tries so very hard. Thesis seems to be that women are the source of men's troubles. Garbage.

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  • Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

    Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

    ★★

    There's a flicker for a brief moment, when it's gleefully weaving the structure into the theme of the story - and it gets closer than any of the other interactive film experiments we've seen over the years - but it just sort of gives up halfway.

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    ★★★

    Good fun and great music, but it feels like Miles has too many "All is Lost" moments in the old school Blake Synder sense, and there's like 3 of them in a row. By the time you get to the big one in the alley, it's lost its weight.

    There is the basic idea at its core that anyone can be a hero, but I wish it had something actually specific to say about the idea that superhero stories are…

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  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    ★★★½

    As a casual fan, I just wanted this to be a good new addition to the saga, and that it was. Kylo Ren was probably the most interesting character to me, there seems to be real complexity and conflict there under the surface and I wanna see where it goes.

    There's plenty to nitpick in the story, but at least it was a fun ride.

  • Active Measures

    Active Measures

    ★★★

    It’s so overwhelmingly dense with names, events, non-stop talking, and background music, you almost get lost in the minutia by the end. Which is a shame because what feels like a very directed argument and build up in the first half ends up getting lost in the pile of images and words being thrown at you. It does put together a pretty convincing idea of what a Russian playbook for this kind of thing might be in that first half…