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  • Baby Driver

    Baby Driver

    ★★★

    So many things to cringe at but muscular as a genre exercise and some sequences of satisfying driving and action - characters are rendered in a strange limbo between puppets and caricatures - it's clear the movies are better when he doesn't write them

  • Gangs of New York

    Gangs of New York

    ★★★★★

    May very well be one of Martin Scorsese's greatest works (and he's got a lot). This is like Sam Fuller's Park Row + Raoul Walsh's The Bowery on 2002-era steroids, it takes the best from all 3 periods of filmmaking (1930s, 1950s, early 2000s), to flesh out an under-explored milieu through a classic revenge storyline. Lots of great set-pieces and conceptual shots — the one that most stands out in my mind is the immigrant to soldier industrial complex, wherein…

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  • Assholes

    Assholes

    ★★★★½

    Went in feeling extremely skeptical and came out a big time believer. This film is much closer to the Czech new wave than "mumblecore" - expounding on ideas of love and disgust with a visual language that cannot and will not be denied. Every shot has a distinct idea behind it, every plot point is either funny or disarming. Understanding that visualizing disease and sores in the context of romance and sex is still quite transgressive, gives the movie an…

  • The Nice Guys

    The Nice Guys

    ★½

    Terrible all the way around. Casting/performances uniformally bad. 70s details stale and off. Writing tired and unfunny. Action scenes edited more like their contemporaries which means fast cuts and very little choreography/blocking. Just a tedious slog. Only decent performance was from Russell Crowe. How do you cast Keith David and underutilize him? Clearly Shane Black thought he was making his Chinatown (a movie about 70s LA conspiracy made in 2016) but can you imagine anything more stale than a porn cover up plot in a period noir piece? Give me a break! There were a few funny lines - that's it.