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  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★

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

    Compare the living room windows of the Kim and Park families. Parasite's opening shot begins with the former - a vantage point that is below street level, permeable to all of the filth, clatter, and hardship of the slums. Moments into the film, Kang-ho Song's Ki-taek Kim encourages leaving the windows open so that pesticide can seep into the apartment and exterminate an infestation of stink bugs for free (or the low cost of the family's discomfort). Though the Park…

  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

    ★★★½

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

    Listening to Quentin Tarantino being interviewed can be a chore. Too often he's awkwardly hyper, unable to "read the room," prone to telling inappropriate anecdotes that drag on, and hold a laugh longer than he should. At their worst, his films replicate these cringeworthy tendencies. Though he's known for being an expert at writing dialog, on occasion (Kill Bill vol. 2, Death Proof, Hateful Eight) his scripts' perchance for repeating cumbersome phrases, favoring clunky puns or rhymes, and homogenizing every…

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  • Burning Cane

    Burning Cane

    ★★★

    You’re gonna have to deal with this privately. No outside influences, just you and God.

    A cursory search on Google about "burning sugar cane" returns numerous results about the practice's harmful effects, a tactic whose purpose is to rid the leaves of an outer layer considered to be "trash." Listening to the literary voiceovers that pervade Burning Cane - much less the considered responses given by Phillip Youmans in promotional interviews - it's clear the writer-director possesses a maturity beyond…

  • Knives Out

    Knives Out

    ★★★★

    I observe the facts without biases of the head or heart.

    God, you're not much of a detective are you?

    Well, to be fair, you make a pretty lousy murderer. Perhaps we deserve each other.

    Murder mystery conventions dictate that the audience make assumptions. Which culprit appears the shiftiest? Which the cleverest? Which the most honest? Racial and economic prejudices rely on the same kind of assumptive logic; that someone can be judged by their outward appearances. (My director man…

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  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    ★★★★★

    As much as the third Indiana Jones film is about obsessive tendencies (concisely indicated by the hard cut between young and old Indy, both fighting for the Cross of Coronado), it is also about transference of knowledge. That is to say, where the Nazis burn books, Henry Jones shares them with his son. Indy is a testament to the teachings of his father, following in his academic footsteps and displaying a number of the same personality traits; he's been shaped…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    ★★★★★

    A personal aside before the review: The Alamo Drafthouse in Kansas City continues its run as the most impressive theater in the area by providing a free, early screening of Fury Road, entirely making my week!

    Technology and budgetary financing has finally caught up with George Miller's horrifying vision of the post-apocalyptic future! The opening sequence of Mad Max: Fury Road deposits the viewer into a world akin to hell. Immortan Joe's cliffside community is nearly a broadly comedic division…