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  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    ★★★½

    First, the superhero genre achieved stability. Technology finally caught up with the visual aspirations and producers finally started giving a shit about scripts in the early 00s. These films were demonstrated to be a solid investment, and savvy marketing and production kept the machine humming through various iterations over the next decade. Now, the machine is so well refined that the next phase seems to be calculated deviations in the core, repeatable story. 

    The focus-group inclusion feel of Spider-Man: Into…

  • The Death of Stalin

    The Death of Stalin

    ★★★★½

    The Russians have forgotten more about political cynicism than the rest of the world ever knew. Thus the Soviet Union provides the best possible backdrop for Armando Iannucci’s thing that he does. The British parliamentarian flummoxry that he’s honed so well finds itself grafted successfully to the centuries-old exercise in gallows humor that is Russian government. It’s hard to imagine where Mr. Iannucci goes from here, because this perhaps the perfect expression of his wish to portray baffled absurdity with…

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  • Predator

    Predator

    ★★★★

    Whatever it was that made Vietnam what it was, it’s as inexorably part of the American psyche as any other national trait. Jungle as proving ground has become a national ideal, which may say as much about the nation today as anything else. 

    The action blockbuster as it has come to be defined lives within the boundaries set within a select few guideposts, and this film is certainly one of them. And John McTiernan, more than Michael Bay or any…

  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    ★★★★★

    You can only watch Hereditary once. The rewatch I’d been steeling myself for didn’t diminish my first experience or reduce the film in my esteem. But it turns out that you can’t break the same parts of yourself again in this case. That searing experience of first watching it is a one-time deal. Plan accordingly, because you don’t get another shot to be fucked with like this.

    This film is an act of violence against the viewer that lesser directors…