Brandon Streussnig

Brandon Streussnig

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Bylines: The Movie Sleuth 

Generally thinking about Kristen Stewart or Scott Adkins.

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  • Luz

    Luz

    ★★★★

    Possession flicks are a dime a dozen so when I saw Luz buried among the recent VOD releases, I kinda gave it a glance and moved on. But something about the poster kept pulling at me so I rented it. And holy shit, watching it is like unearthing a lost Fulci movie. It almost feels impossible for a movie like Luz to exist today. It’s so expressionistic and sparse and at 70 minutes, it leaves absolutely no meat on the…

  • Joker

    Joker

    ★½

    “You’ve changed things. Forever. There’s no goin’ back.”

    So speaks Heath Ledger’s Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight. A movie Todd Phillips clearly saw and thought, “does it come in bleak?”

    Arthur Fleck is a down on his luck clown with an  unspecified mental illness that causes him to laugh uncontrollably until he’s holding himself in pain. He’s an outcast, a loner and in the immortal words of Riverdale’s Jughead Jones, he’s weird. He’s a weirdo. 

    The first hour+ of…

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  • Girl

    Girl

    ★★★

    2020 Ranked

    Decent lo-fi backwoods noir. Tight, mostly thrilling and moves at a good clip, really impressed by its ability to not linger too long in its misery. Too many films like this seem to be infatuated with poverty and this has no interest in that. Just a quick, mean and dirty little revenge mystery. 

    Bella Thorne (ugh) rules as an axe wielding amateur sleuth alternating between prowling and running from the bad guys. She does well with everything but…

  • Ainu Mosir

    Ainu Mosir

    ★★★★

    2020 Ranked 

    Really really loved this. It’s quietly observed, deeply felt and the kind of film whose power sneaks up on you in ways that you don’t quite register until the credits roll. Takeshi Fukunaga is a wonderfully patient filmmaker. The look at a culture that is almost never spoken about, especially not in pop culture, is endlessly appreciated. This approaches that culture with a sense of intense love but an equal amount of remove. It’s a difficult balance but one that allows the community to be itself onscreen without feeling cheated by the narrative. Great stuff.

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  • Seberg

    Seberg

    Infuriatingly bad. It’s an insult to the iconic actress we lost too soon and it’s an insult to an actress as talented as Kristen Stewart that she has to spit out garbage, on-the-nose lines of dialogue like this. 

    Let’s be clear, Stewart is transcendent. Quite literally. Like, she’s so good that she actively makes the rest of the movie worse because it isn’t up to the task. She captures the stunning vibrancy and devastating spiral of Jean Seberg excellently. Whenever…

  • Capone

    Capone

    ★★★½

    I’m not gonna say that Capone is some misunderstood masterpiece. I totally get why others aren’t digging it, or even hating it. But Tom Hardy’s gonzo, part Brando, part Welles performance is transfixing and Josh Trank’s decision to make this a haunted house movie rules so hard.

    I saw a fellow critic describe this as “The AFI Top 100 as the Overlook Hotel” and once you lock in to that perspective, it’s really great. Trank treats Capone’s deteriorating psyche as…