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  • Black Panther

    Black Panther

    ★★★★

    Erik Killmonger is the best villain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a saddening representation of political interference vs foreign aid. Like Captain America: Civil War, this is an MCU film with something to actually say, even more topically so.

    If it weren't for the dull Matrix-level action sequences or the awful visual effects (aside from that incredible casino fight), this could have been the best MCU film. For now, it's just one of the best, but certainly the most emotionally complex.

    And subject to (hopefully not) popular belief, Ryan Coogler is not the new Steven Spielberg; he's just the great Ryan Coogler.

  • On Body and Soul

    On Body and Soul

    ★★★★

    A film of ambiguous intimacy, I kept asking myself if this was meant to feel sexual or familial? Or both? Or neither? And I think that's very much the point; I appreciated that. Even the religious subtext is poignant.

    It also helps that the film is just stunning to look at.

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  • (500) Days of Summer

    (500) Days of Summer

    ★★★★½

    A romantic comedy that perfectly understands the everyman’s obsession with a girl he can never have.  She may wrongly lead him on, but he too is to blame for developing such feelings.

    It’s not all that romantic (and that’s its goal), but it is funny as hell.

  • Columbus

    Columbus

    People can champion Roger Deakins and his work on Blade Runner 2049 all they want (and trust me, it's warranted), but my money for the year's best cinematography goes to Elisha Christian's work on Columbus.....sue me.