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  • Inside

    Inside

    ★★★

    Gruesome. I'm usually not able to sit through these New French Extremity films without cringing and squirming my way through it, but this was especially hard to watch at times. I can deal with gore if it's in the service of character or story (see: this year's bloodbath, Revenge) but Inside is just brutal violence in service of misery. Nobody changes or learns or overcomes or grows, they just suffer. It's unpleasant, and the CGI shots of the baby thrashing…

  • Maniac Cop

    Maniac Cop

    ★★★½

    "Cops like killing. That's why they're cops!"

    The title Maniac Cop is a redundancy, but not everyone knew that in 1988. It's ahead of its time, in that way, being a story about police violence that centers on white people learning the ugly truth that everyone else already knew and will be happy to tell you as soon as they have a camera in front of their face.

    But that might just be me reading into it too much, thirty…

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  • Nocturnal Animals

    Nocturnal Animals

    CW: rape

    It's bad enough to be a messy jumble of blunt gross messaging and misogynist ideas, but it's even worse to present them with so much gorgeous cinematography and perfect acting that I keep looking for reasons to like it that never appear.

    I don't know much about Tom Ford outside of his fragrance line, and I didn't see his first movie, but he pretty clearly has some problems with women that he needs to get worked out. Nocturnal…

  • Ex Machina

    Ex Machina

    ★★★★★

    This is a movie about the ways that men treat women. The "Obvious Misogynist" considers women as a tool for him to control and fuck at his leisure. The "Nice Guy" wants to be a friend and liberator to women, but that interest comes and goes proportional to how much he wants to have sex with them. No matter how similar in intellect and skill we prove ourselves to be, they believe it is up to them to determine our worth, our freedom, even our personhood.

    Fuck them. Rock on, Ava.