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  • On the Beach at Night Alone

    On the Beach at Night Alone

    ★★★★½

    Hong's recent work has started to upend his usual comic milieu, homing in on the tragic aspects of his characters' inability to see each other, or more accurately the gulf of emotional experience between oblivious men and the women whom they take for granted. Hong's men, so often filmmakers, have always had at least one foot in self-criticism, but here he actively puts himself on blast for his affair with Kim Min-hee; his director avatar is mostly talked about rather…

  • A Ghost Story

    A Ghost Story

    ★★

    I really hoped I'd finally like a David Lowery film but this might have left me colder than even his earlier work did. This is like a Modest Mouse video stretched to absurd length, a hollow exercise that contains all the beats of an emotionally devastating narrative but no connective tissue. Its scenes exist entirely outside each other, reducing each moment to its most fleeting imagery, all of which teeters on parody. Rooney Mara listens to an indie song to…

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  • Dallas Buyers Club

    Dallas Buyers Club

    ½

    It's easy, if one only ever has to suffer a few times a year the no-budget, no-talent indies dumped on one-week NY runs and burned onto screener discs, to have a charmed view of what constitutes a bad film. Truth be told, with the number of films produced domestically exploding in recent years thanks to mass proliferation of acceptable-quality, cheap DV, it's a good bet that the vast majority of American movies made each year now consist of films made…

  • The Maze Runner

    The Maze Runner

    ½

    THE MAZE RUNNER is such a sad, cynical, pointless collection of YA tropes in search of a unifying narrative that it might as well be a Seltzer-Friedberg joint named "Young Adult Movie." Every single character exists as a blatant echo of some other YA character: Thomas is Generic YA hero, down to having no idea what's happening yet being preternaturally gifted even above those who've trained to survive for years; Will Poulter's character (do not recall his name or care)…