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  • The Square

    The Square

    More fun to read about (positive or negative) than it is to sit through. The kind of movie you appreciate until you sadly, suddenly don't. Ruben Östlund's disjointed Roy Andersson-esque style becomes wearisome after its scholarly brand of comedy reveals its limitations. We're supposed to be bowled over by manicured politesse bristling against the real world (the extended Tourette's sequence), and modern art's absurd impracticality (the piles of ash, one of the movie's better visual gags). The idea of humor…

  • Magnolia

    Magnolia

    Here he is when he was still "p.t. anderson". His white-hot influences yet to cool into something more singular, and his camera still so exuberantly restless. Upon first glance, this may seem like a wise film. A grandiose statement about regret, an autumnal piece about age and dying and letting go. But this is blatantly the work of a young man, the wounds of childhood still fresh and open. As Ebert notes in his return to Magnolia: "The central theme…

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  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

    I'm not gonna pretend like I watched the movie, so this will not be a review proper. I had a free pass and was down to go, but succumbed to the rumbly in my tumbly something fierce about 45 minutes in and life's too short to watch the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie while famished. So, I promptly ducked out to McDonald's and randomly decided on a Big Mac — an iconic fast food staple that has somehow eluded…

  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    As evidenced by the divine choir that occasionally accompanies McDonagh's vulgar film, there's a deliberate attempt to align the sacred with the profane. It happens again, in conversation this time, when McDormand's cantankerous Mildred Hayes likens a church's congregation to Bloods and Crips. The idea is that nothing is off-limits or, perhaps more accurately, that the separation of the two only preserves the stigma that they're so different. And it's the sadly predictable result to the arrival of Hayes' billboards:…