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  • The Man from London

    The Man from London

    ★★★★

    Really interesting to see Tarr work within genre and meld his somber tone with the fatalistic, oppressive mood of noir. (It's been too long since I've seen Damnation; need to rewatch that.) This mood along with the brilliant use of overhead lighting and the seaside setting reminded me of Port of Shadows.

    Ultimately, I'm not sure there's a ton of meat to the story here, though the setup provides for some really nice tension to develop across Tarr's long takes.…

  • Murder Among the Mormons

    Murder Among the Mormons

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Interesting story, and the series wisely makes it more about deception and the underlining setting and characters of the story than "true crime" in the typical sense of the term. I think a feature length might have forced the story to focus more heavily on the forgery and the psychology of the house of cards Hofmann finds himself in, and do so early on, which I think would have been stronger. In documentary cases like these, I'd almost always prefer a deeper, more nuanced examination of the people and the story than a late film reveal.

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  • Captain America: Civil War

    Captain America: Civil War

    For the life of me I can't understand how fans find anything to give a shit about in these films.

    There's no personality, no stakes, no energy on display from either the cast or the directors. In the Russo brothers, I think Marvel have found their ideal directors: artless, visionless servants of an episodic TV structure. The action isn't exactly unintelligible (Marvel films are too insidious to be completely unsound), but it's passionless: hyperkinetic yet perfunctory. The Russo brothers' "style"…

  • Phantom Lady

    Phantom Lady

    ★★★★½

    A searing and insidious noir, finding and seizing every opportunity to break out of its studio confines. Even early on, Phantom Lady begins to distinguish itself from Siodmak's other "blue collar" noirs like The Killers and Criss Cross, positioning itself visually as something much more gothic and romantic, and therefore much more surreal and scary. A strange phantom New York -- a hazy, sleepy place like Eyes Wide Shut's -- is conjured up with expressionistic framing and lighting, and tricks…