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  • Halloween

    Halloween

    ★★★★

    In the original Halloween II there was an elaborate, soap opera-y reason for Michael Myers to come after Laurie Strode yet again – she was his secret sister, and just as he had killed Judith, he wanted to kill Laurie. This kind of explanation was needed to franchise the characters; if you were going to have Laurie and Michael face off again and again you needed to have a reason. As John McClane once wondered, “How can the same shit…

  • First Man

    First Man

    ★★★½

    Ryan Gosling has given many performances that are the equivalent of a glass of water that had some fruit briefly dunked in it – he is so stoic and blank that he just gives you the hint of an idea of the concept of an emotion. Often, as in Drive, these performances have left me cold. But in First Man Gosling – playing one of America’s most iconically emotionally distant men – finds another place to go within that stoicism.…

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  • Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman

    ★★★★

    Movies are alchemy. I’ve said this before, and I’m sure I’ll say it many more times before I’m gone, but it’s the truth of the cinema: a magical, hard to harness process can turn a strip of film into something far more precious and meaningful.

    Watch WONDER WOMAN with distant, unengaged eyes and you might see the seams, the places where reshoots came in or where the story is papered over in order to keep moving along to the next…

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    For STAR WARS to live, STAR WARS must die. Rian Johnson’s STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is a thrilling, layered and goddamned fun meditation on the tension between our need for legends and myths and the ways those legends and myth constrain and reduce us. STAR WARS is the film series that popularized the monomyth in the modern era, and Johnson walks right up to old Joe Campbell, kicks him in the nuts… and then gives him a hearty bear…