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  • The Terror

    The Terror

    ★★★½

    I have an unhealthy appreciation for Roger Corman's films. While it's true that the man makes more commercial product than transcendent art, there's an honesty to it. Corman has never pretended that his films were anything more than cheaply made diversions, the B-film playing at the drive-in while folks either grab a drink, a snog, or just drive away to beat the crowd. Rather than delude himself or put on a facade of being some misunderstood genius, like a Uwe…

  • The Conjuring

    The Conjuring

    ★★★

    I get why this is so well regarded, I really do. Wan put together an elegant piece of pastiche with a terrific cast. It's earnest and takes its time, and that alone is a bold choice in 2013. I get all of that. It doesn't entirely work for me.

    What I cannot praise enough is the novel way in which the Warrens are cast as heroes in a genre that typically has no room for honest to goodness heroes, because…

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  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★★★

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

    Let's get it out of the way: I really enjoyed The Last Jedi. I think it addresses a lot of the valid criticisms of The Force Awakens and takes the series into new, intriguing territory. I do recognize the criticisms of the film, and I would never invalidate anyone's opinion (you know, unless they were being real shitty about it), but whatever reservations are being bandied about the internet in regards to this film, I feel the quality of the…

  • Dementia 13

    Dementia 13

    ★★★

    I always advocate for looking at a storied director's early work. Spielberg's made-for-television thriller Duel, for example. Christopher Nolan's efficient, moody little feature Following is good, too. Here we have Francis Ford Coppola, the auteur behind 1970s epics that have become cultural keystones, debuting as writer and director of a European gothic throwback horror, made on the cheap in nine days, with a nine-person crew. Remembered mostly through the lens of "early work," Dementia 13 has surprising staying power for…