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  • The Meyerowitz Stories

    The Meyerowitz Stories

    ★★★

    Baumbach continues his most recent winning streak (oh, wait, don't call it a streak, sorry, L.J.), one that really shows no signs of slowing down. As is the case with many of his films, the writing itself is just as noteworthy as the direction, though I wouldn't want to discount what he does with the camera, as the closeups we see throughout do add to the intimacy that really is needed to make this film succeed. With the critical success…

  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★½

    An admirable patience, even if there may be a bit too much room at times, that functions as many great sci-fi films in the past have: by using the characters and unfamiliar to ask the viewer to confront questions about the human condition, and it does so in a way that serves as an inverse of the original.

  • Battle of the Sexes

    Battle of the Sexes

    ★★

    There are a lot of different films in here, and the way the sports movie is separated from the romantic one going on with Billie Jean as she comes to terms with her sexuality makes for a jarring experience, and while this is largely what one would expect, there's a restraint that I found almost refreshing. There are moments where it would be easy to go big, but the conflicts that hit are internal ones, and though the script itself…

  • Stronger

    Stronger

    ★★½

    I'm not sure if it's too soon for a film on this subject or not, and to be honest even before going in I was pretty sure that I knew exactly what this would be despite not following the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 too in depth; however, despite being mostly right in my assumptions the film still manages to be surprisingly effective. A lot of that, of course, has to do with another in a long streak of great…

  • The Trip to Spain

    The Trip to Spain

    ★★★

    Fitting that the Rolling Stones are brought up so much because at times this does feel like a Greatest Hits of sorts for the series, but when those hits are so great it's hard to complain. The chemistry and comedy that Coogan and Brydon have with one another is a thing of magic, almost as much as the way Winterbottom captures the magnificent sights of Spain. The most striking aspect to me was the bigger crises going on with these…

  • Columbus

    Columbus

    ★★★

    Going to ponder on this a bit more in regards to how much is there, but there's so much going on visually that it draws out the themes, along with a number of great performances. Such an assured debut, and it allows the viewer to participate in the architecture, building connections and understand of this town, of these characters, without being abrasive or too forthcoming with connections and relationships. Things that draw us, the way we learn, the way we live, and how heartbreaking and rewarding life can be, even when it's mystifying.

  • Lemon

    Lemon

    ★★★

    Another fantastic turn by Michael Cera, but perhaps an even more fantastic film. Bravo's style was apparent in her short "Gregory Go Boom" from a few years back, and as I parse through her filmography it seems that there are plenty of other shorts I need to delve in to in the near future. There's such an energy to every frame, and the performances from pretty much everyone in the cast feed in to this building sense of dread. Gelman…

  • Dunkirk

    Dunkirk

    ★★½

    I've run mostly cold on Nolan's filmography up to this point, and while DUNKIRK doesn't exactly change that, it definitely plays to his strengths, and, more importantly, directly avoids his weaknesses. In the past it was the severe lack of humanity in his films that I had problems with, and though it's not exactly corrected here it is minimized by the large scale of the conflict and constant cuts between characters that highlight the severity of the situation just as…

  • Baby Driver

    Baby Driver

    ★★★

    Edgar Wright takes his hardest turn from comedy yet, not a bad thing just a tad surprising given the marketing for the film, but continues to prove himself a master of genre. Clearly BABY DRIVER channels heist films, movies about running from the law, but the way the characters move and the way the soundtrack functions makes it feel more like a musical. Drenched in style, dripping with entertainment, Wright continues to bolster a very strong filmography (really only one…

  • Okja

    Okja

    ★★★

    There are comparisons made to ET here, but even taking my Spielberg biases in to consideration I'm not sure they hold too much weight. What OKJA really allows is Bong Joon-ho to continue to blend genre and tone to create a magical and harrowing experience. There are shifts in perspective, but even when the script gets heavy handed there are reminders that there are very few right answers, just systems that fuel the world. And that realization, how it's delivered,…

  • It Comes at Night

    It Comes at Night

    ★★★

    At this point (which may not be news, really), I can't think of a more exciting production company than A24. Annapurna, perhaps, but with such creative and varied films (SPRING BREAKERS, THE BLING RING, THE SPECTACULAR NOW, LOCKE, UNDER THE SKIN, OBVIOUS CHILD, EX MACHINA, WHILE WE'RE YOUNG, THE VVITCH, GREEN ROOM, ROOM, MOONLIGHT, THE LOBSTER, and so many more to name a few of the more notable) being put out by them, when I see that logo it at…

  • Alien: Covenant

    Alien: Covenant

    ★★

    There are parts that work, but there also is the sense that there's a director's cut which fills in a little more of the Michael Fassbender show, who continues to cement his status as one of the greats regardless of the work that surrounds him.