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Still from Joe Dante’s Gremlins (1984)

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Letterboxd

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Still from Joe Dante’s Gremlins (1984)

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  • The Mountain

    The Mountain

    ★★★★

    My review for the Portland Mercury

    Rick Alverson’s films are slow to the point of stasis. That’s all the better to keep viewers locked in on characters—a swarthy trust fund man-child in The Comedy, a broken stand-up comic in Entertainment—that don’t evolve or grow but steadily unravel. It’s a theme that continues in his latest, The Mountain, but here, the methodical pace befits the period in which it is set (the ’50s), and the eventual breakdown of the main character,…

  • Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero

    Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero

    ★★★

    My review for the Portland Mercury

    At the beginning of Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero, director Eric Mahoney reveals that Brainiac frontman Tim Taylor was killed in a car accident in 1997, right on the cusp of the agit-pop-punk group signing to a major label and hitting the big time. It’s the kind of detail most filmmakers would save for the third act, but putting that information front and center casts the story of this Dayton, Ohio, outfit in the proper…

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  • The Central Park Five

    The Central Park Five

    ★★★★½

    [My Willamette Week review]

    Ken Burns has spent over 20 years documenting American history in bite-size chunks, homing in on one subject after another with keen alacrity. In all that time, though, Burns has touched on issues such as racism and poverty only at a decades-long remove. So to see the 59-year-old filmmaker's name associated with a documentary recounting one of the most horrendous miscarriages of justice in recent memory is frankly a little shocking. To Burns' credit, he rises…

  • Antichrist

    Antichrist

    ★★★★

    The feel good hit of the summer from the new name in screwball comedy.