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  • Inferno

    Inferno

    ★★★★½

    88

    Art horror phantasmagoria. There's almost no plot, just scene after thinly connected scene drenched in reds, blues, whispers, and an eerie emptiness. The moments of violence slice through the aural thickness like knives through flesh, the figure of the full moon portends macabre revelations, and almost every shot is exquisite. This is next-level stuff.

  • The Taking of Tiger Mountain

    The Taking of Tiger Mountain

    ★★★½

    68

    Reasonably entertaining, as ought to be expected with a cross between Indiana Jones and Seven Samurai helmed by Tsui Hark in digital-era blockbuster mode, but I wish the film had been even crazier, with colors and action that popped more and psychedelic imagery that cleaved closer to the director's best.

    That said, there are these crazy, clearly made-for-3D moments where the film does funky, self-reflexive things with the CG, like freezing the image for a moment while the "camera"…

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  • 25th Hour

    25th Hour

    ★★★★★

    The monologue scene: still one of the defining moments in my history of movie-watching. It exposes the film's allegorical intents while simultaneously keeping us grounded in Monty's haunted psyche. On the one hand, we have an operatic elegy to post-9/11 rage and xenophobia. On the other, a self-directed tirade by a man burdened with sorrow and regret. The duality is palpable, moving, sublime.

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    ★★★½

    In light of the heavy fire 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' has been taking from critics, I will say upfront that the film is a narrative mess. The main plotline follows Batman’s increasing distrust of Superman, whose battle against General Zod in 'Man of Steel' caused huge and lethal amounts of collateral damage. Superman returns the sentiment, believing that Batman’s brutal brand of justice is a menace to law-abiding society, which in turn observes these two heroes with simultaneous…