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  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    ★★★★★

    The most revelatory rewatch of 2017 for me, with the Ultimate Edition doing the lord’s work in increasing an already miraculously brisk 2.5-hour runtime by 30 minutes and bumping the rating from PG-13 to R. A completely transcendent melodrama where everything is widescreen emotion expressed in vignette, the moral and political dimensions of its titular characters distilled or exploded (take your pick) in sequences that jetset around as hyperreal money-shots, the soundtrack anchoring seemingly disparate scenes together to create a…

  • The Sky Crawlers

    The Sky Crawlers

    ★★★★★

    Kusanagi’s elaborate brass music box is the key. A hefty automaton of the world’s industrial creation, it’s a perfect representation of this alternate universe: two massive overlapping disc cylinders that compose its sobering minor-key melody, these discs pluck away in rotation at what look to be engine valves and spark plugs, belt-driven from below and moved by inter-locking gears like a transmission, the sound piped out from exhaust-style brass tubes indistinguishable from that of a trumpet’s, the object stand-in for…