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  • Eraserhead

    Eraserhead

    ★★★★★

    But having rated it five stars, I'm not sure if I ever want to do this to myself again. It was my first time in the theater, and I forgot that on my previous viewing at home I paused a couple times (toilet break, water). In the theater, there is no escape, and I seriously contemplated fleeing a couple times, just because I found the film so effectively anxiety-inducing.

    ERASERHEAD is a miracle of sound design, of no-budget imagination, of…

  • 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…

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  • The Night Comes for Us

    The Night Comes for Us

    ★★½

    There is a shot at 1:06:14 where black bars mysteriously appear on either side of the frame for a couple seconds. There is another sequence, earlier on, where a car starts pulling over when it's dark outside and it's light when they cut to the reverse. These are secondary factors for Timo Tjahjanto, I guess, whose main concern seems to be just how many different forms of indignity the human body can have inflicted upon it in the context of…

  • Upgrade

    Upgrade

    ★★★★

    Was worried it would wane on a second viewing, but just the opposite. It helps that my biggest beef about the first go-around, Harrison Gilbertson's performance, is retroactively justified at the end of the film and works a lot better when you know what's coming. It also helps that VENOM's shittiness casts UPGRADE's low budget in a different light, showing how amazing and creative this film is for the money, particularly when it comes to the insane camera choreography. It's…

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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…

  • Happy Death Day

    Happy Death Day

    ★★½

    Sure, "GROUNDHOG DAY but slasher" is a good idea, but it's an ...
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    ... execution dependent concept.