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  • A Cure for Wellness

    A Cure for Wellness

    ★★★★

    All of Gore Verbinski's repressed violence and sexuality (from all those years at Disney) released in an overwrought gothic pulp. Constant visual metaphors and metatexual references (from all the way back to Cat People, The Shining, the works of Guillermo del Toro, and even his own The Ring) that all say, essentially the same thing; something is not right.
    Unfortunately, most audiences will find this hackneyed, but this calvecade of tone and style as substance is just the kind of mondo gonzo formalism that I really dig.

  • The Humbling

    The Humbling

    Al Pacino hobbles his way through an endless monologue that comes off less reflective and more masturbatory. Where films like Birdman tackle the disconnect/similarity between performance and reality via sly metatexual references and dissonance, The Humbling bluntly clobbers the subject with Al Pacino perpetually pontificating and baffling dialogue. At the very least, the dizzying cinematography and blinding lights effectively reflects the bizarre cognitive dissonance. The real bright spot, however, is Greta Gerwig and her natural charm, who, primarily, is the reason I continued to sit through nearly two hours of awkward attempts at humor that lead to pretty much nowhere. Tedious.

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  • Stoker

    Stoker

    ★★★★½

    It seems that any other director would not be able to handle Stoker's subject matter without making it feel gratuitous. Chan-wook Park somehow manages to handle Stoker's deeply disturbing material, but makes it so beautiful. I had not expected to be as put-off by some of the material in this film, but because it is all handled with such grace I found it a lot easier to get over.

    There is a predator/prey motif apparent in Stoker that is very…

  • Rashomon

    Rashomon

    ★★★★★

    My life will be defined by pre-Rashomon and post-Rashomon.