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  • Crazy Rich Asians

    Crazy Rich Asians

    ★★

    The last Jon Chu movie I saw was Step Up 2 ten years ago during my middle school hip hop dance class, so I hope you'll forgive me for expecting something better than this.

    Yes, there's a lot of discourse. Detractors of Crazy Rich Asians are in full force on social media, criticizing the film's lack of biting political commentary and its treatment of dark-skinned SE asians. In its unapologetic adherence to the romcom tropes and stereotypes of vanilla Hollywood,…

  • Minding the Gap

    Minding the Gap

    ★★★★½

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

    In a late scene of Bing's first directed feature, the Rockwell, IL native asks Keire Johnson what he got out of the documentary process. He responds simply: "It’s almost like free fucking therapy."

    At a time when therapy is stigmatized and social culture is still shaped by strong-armed views of masculinity, it's easy for teens and young adults to ignore where they came from and where they are going. There aren't many outlets for them to talk about the multitude…

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  • Under the Skin

    Under the Skin

    ★★½

    at times, entrancing and beautiful. not as abstract as its reputation holds. also cured my insomnia god bless

  • Happy as Lazzaro

    Happy as Lazzaro

    ★★★★

    So glad I didn't know anything about this...delightful. Reminiscent of a few of my favorite magical realist films: the tin drum, como agua para chocolate. Mundane and enchanting, for lack of better words.

    The rounded corners and frayed edges of the frame wrap cozy italian countrysides. Filmed in kitschy super16 film, but whoever designed the sound really lifts Lazzaro from CMBYN-style 80's homage to nostalgic, magical realist tale. The silent moments of Lazzaro in the back of a truck are…

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  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★★★½

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

    In a film propelled by grand events, the slightest details will give the most lasting impressions. It'll be different for everyone. For me, the momentary glance between Sofia and Cleo, ice creams in hand, after the wedding champagne cork pops behind them...that was a pure and filling sadness.

    This film is a theatrical experience. For the beautiful visual qualities, yes, but specifically for the sound design. You will be immersed against your will. At several points, I thought the noise…

  • Birds Without Feathers

    Birds Without Feathers

    ★★★½

    As someone commented in the Q&A, quite bland and stilted on paper -- in an off-kilter Yorgos Lanthimos Killing of a Sacred Deer type of way -- but more innocent and charming. The film rides a gentle off-beat rhythm, thanks in large part to the actors' trust in the script and their ability to riff off of each other timing-wise. Wendy doesn't fully commit to a mood, but it very much seems to reflect her personality and mind space during…