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  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★★½

    Don't believe the hype of Mad Max: Fury Road. Nay, mere believing is insufficient. Thou must worship at the altar of Mad Max: Fury Road.

    There have been action movies more visually stunning than this. There have also been smarter action movies. But never has such a singularly artistic voice been utilized to create such aesthetically crafted mayhem. It's a wonder that this hyperkinetic and deceptively messy film feels so lovingly fussed over. Explosions are color-corrected to crimson red against…

  • Hardcore Henry

    Hardcore Henry

    ★★★★

    A couple of years ago, my dad bought me an Ed Hardy necktie for Christmas because he wasn't aware of the brand's "douchebag" stigma. To this day, it sits conspicuously in my tie rack, mostly unworn. And not only do I rarely wear it, but I've never even really liked seeing it hanging there. There's a bit of temporary embarrassment that occurs when such an oft-maligned piece of apparel appears in one's aesthetic arsenal.

    But then I realized that I…

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  • Gimme Shelter

    Gimme Shelter

    ★★★★

    There's something wonderfully silly about seeing Jagger try to go through his performative, frontman actions while chaos abounds. But then the chaos gets darker and darker and a muted version of the title song fades out over concert-goers somberly walking down a lonely street.
    The weird thing is, I wonder what Charlotte Zwerin and the Maysles' would have done if the Altamont Speedway show hadn't devolved into violence and death. If a celebration of peace and love and music, what would this have been?

    2018 #52FilmsByWomen

  • Your Sister's Sister

    Your Sister's Sister

    ★★★½

    There's a scene where Mark Duplass keeps semi-violently wiping back Emily Blunt's tears and I feel like that's pretty solid dramatic improvisation.

    2018 #52FilmsByWomen

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  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    ★★★★

    If nothing else, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is successful in delivering a raucous adventure by letting the actors hold the awe and excitement of the iconic franchise on their faces. It is a clear homage to the original trilogy, but doesn't feel like fan fiction the way lesser reboots often do. I mean, it does, but it's good fan fiction. Somehow, Abrams' often bravura camerawork and sense of humor makes the movie feel less like fan service and more…

  • Nixon

    Nixon

    ★½

    I have no idea what Oliver Stone is doing here. This lacks a theme or point-of-view, which isn't necessarily a death sentence... but it totally fails in its more experimental visual and narrative style as well. I'm not even sure what (if anything) is successful in this movie since virtually all elements are buried under a blanket of distracting technique and muddled storytelling.
    Stone's using some of the same unorthodox and disparate filming styles he employed excellently in eliciting the…