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  • Build the Wall

    Build the Wall

    ★★★½

    Uploaded on Vimeo for free during the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Swanberg's latest film has flown under the radar -- so much so, in fact, that I wasn't even aware of Build the Wall until it was referenced in a friend's film school essay on Swanberg, which I was asked to read. After he has tackled increasingly bigger projects in recent years, it feels like a nice return to the Swanberg who made the excellent Marriage Material. Starring Kent Osborne and…

  • Becky

    Becky

    ★★½

    You know those musical mash-ups by the likes of Girl Talk or Neil Cicierega, blending bits of different songs together? The revenge thriller Becky is almost the film equivalent of that, an obvious hybrid of Home Alone and John Wick. When rebellious 13-year-old Becky (Lulu Wilson) goes for a weekend at the lake with her dad (Joel McHale), a gang of recently escaped neo-Nazi prisoners arrive in search of a mysterious key. Predictably, the shit hits the fan, leaving Becky…

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  • The General

    The General

    ★★★★½

    Buster Keaton's The General is a dazzling feat of silent slapstick, one that still stands tall in the history of American cinema. The loose narrative follows an engineer named Johnnie Gray (Keaton) who springs into action when his train is stolen by Union spies. Further complicating matters, the woman he loves, Annabelle (Marion Mack) is also on the train. It is a tad strange to watch a film with the Confederates as the "good guys," but The General has no…

  • An American Werewolf in London

    An American Werewolf in London

    ★★★★½

    It is always a treat to finally watch a classic and find it worthy of the hype. John Landis' An American Werewolf in London is such a film, blending horror and comedy so effectively that I can't fathom anyone hating it. The tale of yank tourist David (David Naughton) getting attacked by a werewolf while backpacking in England, causing him to transform into one of the beasts himself, is an inherently tragic one, yet Landis (directing his own script) peppers…