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  • Byzantium

    Byzantium

    ★★★½

    A unique vampire movie with a distinctly feminine perspective. Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton portray vampires struggling to survive in contemporary times. Ronan's Eleanor grapples with her immaculate memory, unable to deny or hide the truth of her existence. While the usual vampire rules of blood-consumption and occasional need for invitations to enter an abode are applied the danger of daytime/sunlight is replaced instead by an overbearing danger of the patriarchy. Both before and after vampirehood the leading women are…

  • Free Fire

    Free Fire

    ★★★★

    I only discovered Ben Wheatley this past year and have enjoyed diving into his body of work. While not every entry is a hit for me, I absolutely appreciate his perspective that he brings to each outing. Free Fire is a distillation of an extended & fully realized gritty shoot out. The jet-black humor, cynicism, and cruelty on display delivers entertainment in full. The ensemble cast is absolutely vibrant. With equal love across all parties I was absolutely enthralled by Armie…

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  • The Fate of the Furious

    The Fate of the Furious

    ★★★½

    I have the Fast series broken into three different eras. The small-scope car-crime movies (1-3), the Oceans-heist movies (4-6), and then the Bond-esque movies (7-8). As they enter the globe-trotting Bond phase I find the sprawling plots of the movies are beginning to unravel, with the ensemble casts getting lost in a maelstrom of convoluted macguffins and global chases. I found my favorite sequences are changing into set-pieces that don't necessarily circle around cars, which was the movie series namesake.…

  • Colossal

    Colossal

    ★★★★

    Similar to all great monster movies that have come before, the monster in Colossal is a giant walking metaphor. There are actually so many little facets of the movie that pass by that you could engage on their own it is almost overwhelming (alcoholism, gender-dynamics in relationships or courting, American imperialism, toxic relationships...). While the metaphors are laid on thick, the joys of visiting the genre playground, Gloria's (Anne Hathaway) struggles provide a strong through line to drawing you through…