Benjamin Clarke

Benjamin Clarke

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The secret to a happy moviegoing life is loving David Lynch and Michael Bay at the same time.

Switched to full-star ratings.

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  • Godzilla vs. Kong

    Godzilla vs. Kong

    ★★★

    Obviously a ton of fun when the big guys get to duke it out against colorful backdrops (and unencumbered by murky CGI storms!), but this is yet another MonsterVerse entry that puts a little too much stock into the human side of things. Thankfully, however, it isn't there to simply fill gaps in narrative urgency, but to boost our investment in Godzilla and Kong as we follow them in and out of their super-smash brawls. Much of it is sadly…

  • Zack Snyder's Justice League

    Zack Snyder's Justice League

    ★★★★★

    "Hate is useless."

    Zack Snyder's The Rise of Skywalker. An enormous, borderline unwieldy collection of disparate images, ideas, and emotions that, against all odds, coalesce into something unbelievably beautiful. In its broadest strokes, this may well be just another blockbuster about a group of powerful humans teaming up against an army of cosmic baddies, but of course, this being the long-awaited Snyder Cut (now no longer just another hashtag), it's so much more than the majority of its competition. For…

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  • In the Earth

    In the Earth

    ★★

    Annihilation as imagined by Andrei Tarkovsky, except it looks like something you might find on Vimeo from someone using professional-grade cameras and editing software for the first time. Takes far too long to get anywhere remotely interesting, but even the psychedelic destination it reaches is far too vague and disorienting to be hypnotic in any way. Could be worse, I suppose, but if you’re curious about this at all, don’t bother.

  • Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

    Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

    ★★★

    Some pretty rad thrash-metal imagery that sadly can’t escape the choke-hold of its PG-13 rating. Worth it for Cage and Hinds, who are clearly having a ball here.

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  • mother!

    mother!

    ★★★★★

    Better critics have already summed up how you are probably going to feel about “mother!”, so it would be foolish of me to make a broken record out of the buzz. However, there is something to be said for the consensus, that this polarized reaction is one of the many reasons why Darren Aronofsky’s new film is kind of a big deal. Wait, no…not kind of big; it’s monstrous. The whole thing behaves like a wild animal bursting from its…

  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★

    "I had a vision of a world without Batman... and it was so boring." - The Dark Knight

    On the surface, Joker has a lot more going for it compared to its big-budget peers. It's shot with a distinctive color palette, an excellent use of light and shadow, and crafted with the kind of precision seen in films that are unburdened by thousands and thousands of visual effects. It also borrows (quite deliberately) from like-minded psychodramas, namely Martin Scorsese's Taxi…