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  • Moonlight

    Moonlight

    ★★★★★

    Extreme subjectivity through the camera's proximity to the lead character Chiron, showing us what he sees and hears, including the actors speaking to us through the fourth wall. The overall atmosphere, particularly through the use of sound or lack of it, evokes a feeling a nervous anxiety, making us feel Chiron's anguish, and subsequently used to subvert our expectations. The result is a sustained emotional gut-punch.

  • Scream

    Scream

    ★★★★★

    Paradoxically, the movie has a sense of realism that's a byproduct of its spoof-like quality. Like when Gale Weathers' cameraman gets his throat slashed, or when Matthew Lillard cries, "my mom and dad are going to be so mad at me." It's feels real because it's funny. The spoofiness both diffuses the horror while making it scarier.

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  • Jurassic Park

    Jurassic Park

    ★★★★★

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

    This movie was my gateway drug to movies. I remember seeing it as a 5-year-old with my mom, and the "year of Jurassic Park" that followed it. At the Seattle Science Center, they had a JP exhibit that showcased the entire production of the film, and my mind was blown wide open to another dimension of the movies.

    Re-watching it now, I'm struck by how thematically rich it is. And having since read the Crichton several times, I'm impressed by…

  • The Lost World: Jurassic Park

    The Lost World: Jurassic Park

    ★★★★

    Perhaps rougher around the edges when it comes to balancing tone than its predecessor, I nonetheless consider The Lost World to be incredibly underrated.

    The movie embraces its B-movie heritage while still managing to be as thematically rich as the first one. The decision to move the segment with the little rich girl and the compsognathus dinos, which occurred in the first novel, to the opening here, is inspired—what a perfect metaphor for Site B being wreaked havoc upon in…