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  • Occult

    Occult

    ★★★½

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

    Disturbing and fascinating, if not rife with some authentically weird plotting choices. A psychological portrait of a mass murderer with *fantastic* music and a strong sense of atmosphere. Makes the odd and interesting choice of casting its own director as a complicit villain in its documentary-style horror. A story about voyeurism, complicity, and the psychology of doomsday cultism.

    Also, there's a very weird digression about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

  • Alita: Battle Angel

    Alita: Battle Angel

    ★★★★½

    "Does it bother you... that I'm not fully human?"

    I keep thinking about the bar scene. With taut energy, Rosa Salazar plays an Alita whose mood changes from beat to beat throughout the entire sequence--she's flirtatious, then naive, then idealistic, then justifiably arrogant, then bloodthirsty and all the way back again. You get the sense, watching her incredible performance, of a person who's in the process of finding out who she is, step by step, moment by moment. She doesn't…

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  • Zack Snyder's Justice League

    Zack Snyder's Justice League

    ★★★★

    The most I've enjoyed a superhero movie in ages. Sure, it's messy, and long as hell. But I'll always take messy over truncated. Messy stories are just stories with fingerprints on them. They're alive.

    Snyder is fascinated by the DC superheroes as symbols, as images. The camera ogles them, objectifies them--in Snyder's reckoning they're as much people as they're giant pieces of pop art. Which is, well, what they are. And the tone here, all operatic overtures and self-serious drama,…