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  • Kong: Skull Island

    Kong: Skull Island

    ★★★

    Nice to see a filmmaker making these giant films who believes in using colour and staging scenes where the action is clearly visible and jawdropping. Crazy to see a filmmaker reference* CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST in a major studio film. Wish there weren't 83 dull characters, but at least John C. Reilly brings what is either his A game or his "I don't give a shit so I'm just going to have fun" game. Also wish I'd seen it in a theatre instead of on a plane, but the shifting aspect ratios (kept popping between 1.85:1 and 2.35:1) was fascinating if confusing as shit.

  • Okja

    Okja

    ★★★★

    Everything with Okja and the girl is *amazing*, but it feels like the subplots have been overdeveloped to justify having star casting. Saw it on 35mm, which is mostly kind of a stupid trick, but it was my only opportunity to see it theatrically, so it means I've kept a streak of seeing Bong at large scale since MEMORIES OF MURDER and that's something he deserves.

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★

    Saw this weeks ago but been under NZ embargo, and suspect my reaction would be even more positive if I had written a review at the time and/or hadn't been worn down by the haters, who are legion and seem to take enormous pride in their position. I sincerely get that there are flaws in this film, and I have zero issue with someone filing their "not for me" review and moving on, but I also fully believe that there…

  • The Long Day Closes

    The Long Day Closes

    ★★★★½

    Perhaps you're like me, and haven't seen much Davies, but you've seen enough Loach and Leigh to feel like you've got the measure of things when it comes to British kitchen-sink miserablism, and autobiographical coming of age stories have no special appeal for you, and you saw THE HOUSE OF MIRTH sixteen years ago and it quickly faded into a miasma of costume dramas, bubbling between THE END OF THE AFFAIR and AN IDEAL HUSBAND and a passel of Austen…