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  • Dark Skull

    Dark Skull

    ★★½

    Watching Dark Skull, I was frequently reminded of Eldorado XXI, one of my favorite films of 2016, and how much more interesting the construction of Salomé Lamas's film is than this. Of course, Dark Skull being less compelling about a similar subject is no real criticism, but the parallels between them might be useful to consider. When we see people working in Eldorado XXI, we are made to understand the grueling and repetitive nature of their tasks by a 45-minute…

  • The Human Surge

    The Human Surge

    ★★★

    Though I liked a lot of different elements of The Human Surge, I am not entirely sure they congeal into all that much of a concrete idea or outlook. Each segment is very attuned to location and finding a way of showing one's place in his milieu, so we follow each character as he walks through his environment. In doing so, we watch the character interact with his location and with other people, but as the ostensible subject sometimes leaves…

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  • Birdman

    Birdman

    ★★★★½

    Visually, Birdman is a beautiful film whose appearance as one unbroken take allows us to understand the complexity of life behind the Broadway stage and the fast-paced nature of the world of theatre. It is this world where we find Riggan Thomson, a washed-up actor who is about to star in a stage adaptation of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love that he both wrote and directed but who struggles with his own descent from fame. Despite…

  • Foxcatcher

    Foxcatcher

    ★★★★★

    This is the best 2014 film I have seen so far. For the entire 2 hours and 14 minutes of its runtime, Foxcatcher is riveting and awe-inspiring. This is my prediction to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and as of now, it is my hope that I guess right.

    Bennett Miller directed this film with the kind of restraint so rare in modern Hollywood films. The atmosphere is dark and brooding, with an excellent muted color palette and…