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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, when Moose was my pop lockin' spirit animal, 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…

  • 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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  • High Sierra

    High Sierra

    ★★★½

    is this dog supposed to represent bogart's suburban desires chasing the metaphorical car that drives off the cliff into his inevitable demise

  • Dirty Ho

    Dirty Ho

    ★★★★

    The plot is troubled and the choreography can be stilted at times, but the pure complexity and duration of the fight scenes makes this a non-factor; Liu Chia-Liang threw everything onto the wall and made it stick. Inventive set pieces and long, intricate battles make Dirty Ho a compelling, but draining, watch — methodical to the point of exhaustion. Much more easily digestible in the first hour or so, where Ho and Wang are pitted against each other in a playful rivalry of sorts.

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  • 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…

  • Mary and the Witch's Flower

    Mary and the Witch's Flower

    ★★★½

    To be clear, this film isn't supposed to break any new ground. It probably won't fill you up with warm, gooey feelings, and it will never try to surprise you. The one-dimensional characters in Mary and the Witch's Flower seem to be plucked from a Kindergarten children's book, and the humor plays off accordingly — loud and proud.

    Visually, the beautiful animation and scenery is wasted on bubble-gum backdrops. They never build up into a cohesive, lived-in universe, and our…